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Zhao Public Health Fund Empowering a robust COVID-19 response for priority populations around the world

As the world raced against the clock to ready public health systems before an expected rise of COVID-19 cases, funding from the Dr. Bing Zhao fund allowed ICAP to rapidly spin-up critical clinical support for COVID-19-related services in early 2020 at key health facilities in Mozambique, Kenya, and Sierra Leone; conduct COVID-19 surveillance among at-risk demographics in the U.S.; and commission an original song featuring COVID-19 public health messages in Zimbabwe.

With funding from Dr. Bing Zhao, ICAP was able to provide support to health facilities across Mozambique, Kenya, and Sierra Leone at critical moments in each country's fight to protect its people from the spread of COVID-19 in the early days of the pandemic.

Funds were used to rapidly assemble COVID-19 triage stations and to train health workers in critical infection, prevention, and control (IPC) measures at health facilities across countries benefiting from the fund, like the newly renovated COVID-19 screening center pictured here at King Harman Hospital in Sierra Leone.

ICAP's efforts worked to protect health workers and their patients through the establishment of mobile handwashing stations, well-ventilated waiting areas with adequate space to social distance, correct and consistent donning and doffing of health worker personal protective equipment (PPE), and easy-to-understand communications materials with important health information for patients.

"The support ICAP has provided through Dr Zhao’s funding has greatly supported us to manage complex COVID-19 patients effectively."

Dr. Peter Okoth, CEO, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital (JOOTRH), Kenya

"After the introduction of pre-screening, there was reduced wait times for patients with respiratory infections. Those with respiratory symptoms were separated from patients with other symptoms or seeking other services within the health facility."

— Tito Siro do Rosario Curane, nurse and IPC focal point at 25 de Setembro Health Center, Mozambique

"The technical assistance, material support, training, and installation of a robust CCTV system for the unit has enabled the clinical team to review patients onsite and offer quality care and treatment virtually during the pandemic."

— Dr. Florenciaus Ndinya, Resident Internal Medicine Physician, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital (JOOTRH), Kenya

Thanks to Dr. Zhao, ICAP has:

  • Created COVID-19 Screening Stations at the entrance of 3 referral hospitals and 59 health facilities across Kenya, Mozambique, and Sierra Leone to fortify screening and triage of patients
  • Established community-based COVID-19 health brigades in Mozambique and Sierra Leone to provide timely health education
  • Screened over 560,000 individuals for COVID-19
  • Procured and provided critical PPE for patient-facing health care workers and health facility support staff– including gloves, N95 and surgical masks, aprons, face visors, and eye protection
  • Procured and distributed cellphone airtime, internet vouchers, and communications equipment to facilitate emergency communications across hospitals and health facilities
  • Created new COVID-19 data collection tools for surveillance and response, including screening registers, a mobile app screening app, weekly reporting for key indicators, and contact tracing forms
  • Hired and trained staff to augment national capacity to track COVID-19 response efforts and respond to emerging challenges
  • Provided training for health care workers and community-based health outreach workers in infection, prevention and control measures, COVID-19 case management, and key health messaging

Health workers received training and tailored implementation guidance from ICAP experts in critical COVID-19 infection and prevention control measures including the effective use of PPE, the construction and placement of hand washing stations using locally available materials, and the use of symptom screening checkpoints.

Health workers like Nurse Betty Aketch Onyango are playing critical roles amid the outbreak. Nurse Onyango works at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital (JOOTRH) in Kisumu, Kenya, where she provides specialized care and treatment to people struggling with addiction. The ICAP-supported facility serves as a regional center of excellence, providing high quality HIV care and serving as a model center for the management of complex and advanced HIV disease and related conditions, including the treatment of people who inject drugs.

Following their graduation from an ICAP-sponsored photography workshop in 2018, young photographers Mercy Boke and Stephen Odhiambo followed Nurse Onyango to document a day in the life of the nurse and religious community leader during the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Health facility workers in Kenya receive critical supplies — including non-contact thermometers, cleaning supplies, and other PPE — to protect clinic workers as they care for patients through the fund.

Zimbabwean musicians Albert Nyathi and Dereck Mpofu wrote a new song, entitled “Apart/Together—We Stand Strong Against COVID-19,” to raise awareness about the novel coronavirus and to encourage people to stay safe.

Assessing the impact of COVID-19 on New York City's Senior Citizens

ICAP is conducting a large survey to gain insights into the multi-dimensional impacts of COVID-19 on senior citizens in NYC.

The study, known as SARS-CoV-2 Impact on Lives and Views of Elderly Residents (SILVER), will aggregate qualitative data on the physical, emotional and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic through the lived experiences of almost 800 senior residents of NYC.

Collected data will be shared with NY Department of Health to inform community outreach and intervention activities.

Thank you, Dr. Zhao, for your generous support!