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COVID-19 Response

COVID-19 Response

UNFPA Mozambique is supporting the Government of Mozambique to respond to COVID-19 with a focus on sexual and reproductive health and gender-based violence. 

UNFPA Mozambique is working with partners in targeted provinces by procuring and distributing personal protective equipment and essential medicines, supporting community surveillance efforts, training service providers in how to respond to an increase in violence and provide psychosocial support, disseminating COVID-19 prevention and response messaging through innovative channels, campaigns and existing networks, among other key interventions.

 As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, UNFPA has estimated the scale of the negative unintended consequences and potential impact in the country: 

In Mozambique, based on a total of 2.5 million people who may need support as a result of COVID-19 impacts, UNFPA estimates that about 71,000 are pregnant women. Approximately 3,500 of all pregnant women who will give birth in the next three months and 4,700 newborns may experience complications inside and outside health centers.

Worldwide, the pandemic is severely disrupting access to life-saving sexual and reproductive health services, deepening existing gender inequalities, increasing gender-based violence, and worsening discrimination and barriers for marginalized groups. Sexual and reproductive health and rights is a significant public health issue that demands urgent and sustained attention and investment.

UNFPA Mozambique’s Strategic Priorities in Response to COVID-19

Ensure continuity of sexual and reproductive health services and interventions, including protection of the health workforce

Ensure life-saving GBV prevention and response services are available and accessible to all

Ensure the supply of modern contraceptives and reproductive health commodities

"As we adapt to the impacts of COVID-19, it is imperative that we continue to protect, promote and prioritize front-line health workers who are meeting the urgent sexual, reproductive, and maternal health needs of women and girls in Mozambique every single day.”

- Andrea M. Wojnar, UNFPA Representative in Mozambique

Key Accelerators

  • Youth Engagement: UNFPA is building the capacity and engaging youth associations and networks to safely and meaningfully act as change agents in COVID-19 preparedness and response. UNFPA is also adopting innovative outreach strategies through social media, mobile phone, TV and community radios to reach adolescents and youth with COVID-19 and ASRH information and counselling.?
     
  • Leaving No One Behind: UNFPA does this by supporting the provision of services to those most vulnerable and advocating for a multi-sectoral response that targets the most vulnerable populations. 
     
  • Data: UNFPA advocates, promotes and builds capacities of national institutions to generate and use sex-dissagregated data and census data, among other inequality dimensions, to inform the preparedness and response efforts.
     
  • Risk communication and community engagement: UNFPA mainstreams community engagement and social mobilization interventions, including with youth networks, religious and traditional leaders, and women’s rights and women-led organizations.


Call Center Operators in action

 

“It is gratifying to know that in some way we are contributing to locating suspected cases of the virus and also providing psychological support to the population in this difficult time...The call center is a chain of the health system that came to support the country, so that even at a distance, patients continue to receive care and guidance. I feel honored to be part of this movement.”

- Nilam Arvinkumar, a female COVID-19 Call Center (#110) Operator, led by the Government of Mozambique

 

Selected Key Achievements

  • Ensuring continuity of essential health services: 24 sexual and reproductive health kits were distributed to health centers in Cabo Delgado to benefit 240,000 women and girls. UNFPA installed health tents in Cabo Delgado and Sofala to allow adequate distancing in health units, particularly for prenatal consultations and for girls and women who require more medical attention.
     
  • Leaving no one behind with health services: 6 mobile clinics delivered sexual and reproductive health services to nearly 30,000 women from remote communities and displaced populations in Sofala and Cabo Delgado. Of those, 18,000 women received contraceptives and 3,800 pregnant women took part in antenatal check-ups, provided by the mobile clinics.
     
  • Mentors and focal points as agents of change: mentors, district focal points and peer educators of Rapariga Biz and My Choice projects are providing information on COVID-19 prevention and response to target groups through existing channels (including WhatsApp), while psychosocial support is being offered to several thousand mentors and focal points by phone.
     
  • COVID-19 Call Center including referral pathways and services: UNFPA (with WHO and the CDC) has supported MISAU in establishing the first COVID-19 Call Center (#110), which received more than 50,000 calls its first three weeks of operations. The center has trained clinicians to provide life-saving health information and refer suspected cases to health facilities.
     
  • Use of media and technology: In partnership with Viamo, UNFPA supported their toll-free, automated information hotline that communicates COVID-19 related information through Interactive Voice Response technology and SMS and USSD messages. From April to June 2020, the Viamo 3-2-1 service had more than 280,000 listeners and 1.2 million interactions with the 10 COVID-19 messages provided by the system.

 

Resources

Disease outbreaks affect women and men differently, and pandemics make existing inequalities for women and girls and discrimination of other marginalized groups such as persons with disabilities and those in extreme poverty, worse. This needs to be considered, given the different impacts surrounding detection and access to treatment for women and men.

Additional information and technical guidance are available at the links below.

COVID-19: A Gender Lens    Global Response Appeal    Modern Contraceptives    GBV and Coronavirus 
Maternal and Newborn Health & COVID-19    Young People & Coronavirus    Implications of COVID-19 on Census
COVID-19 Technical Brief for Maternity Services   UNFPA Global Response Plan   COVID-19  Frequently Asked Questions