Since the emergence of COVID-19 in Bangladesh, ASTHA’s regular field activities were halted due to the government enforced restrictions on mass gatherings. The project, however, had taken immediate measures in supporting the community paramedics with the provision of protective equipment and online training to help them safely continue their services in rural areas.
ASTHA has now restarted the conduction of scientific seminars for community paramedics where they receive training on contemporary medical topics from specialised doctors. Courtyard meetings have resumed in project locations to increase awareness among rural residents on healthcare service seeking behaviour and on COVID-19 precautions. The project is also providing medical equipment to new graduates so that they can start serving their community at the earliest. Moreover, ASTHA joined forces with local government administration authorities to arrange training on COVID-19 management for district-level public healthcare professionals.
ASTHA is also taking necessary steps to support its partners in adapting to the changing circumstances. To battle the aftereffects of the pandemic during this unprecedented time, it has become an imperative to strengthen capacities of the project’s key partners - the private sector training providers, who are responsible for the delivery and overall management of the community paramedic course. Activities have commenced to train the institutions on the appropriate methods of e-learning and to promote student enrolment for the upcoming batches.