In order to assist the Mauritian Government in its efforts to combat COVID-19, and to fulfil its role as an auxiliary to the public health authorities, Mauritius Red Cross launched a campaign to reduce spread of the coronavirus. Volunteers were mobilised to carry out more than 1,500 antigen tests and were able to report 74 positive cases to the country’s Ministry for Health.
As the pandemic significantly impacted many vulnerable citizens, Mauritius Red Cross developed – with the help of PIROI – a two-prong strategy:
- firstly, it built the National Society’s capacities by training volunteers in COVID-19 screening and by providing personal protective equipment
- secondly, it strengthened community protection and awareness through early detection of positive COVID-19 cases.
Mobile screening programmes in vulnerable communities
Screening is a key tool in identifying and isolating those with COVID-19, thus helping prevent spread of the disease. This is why Mauritius Red Cross has trained 50 volunteers from its local branches in naso-pharyngeal antigen testing. Under the programme, between December 2021 and February 2022 1,509 COVID-19 tests were performed at 14 mobile screening sites, leading to the detection of 74 positive cases. As a result, all those infected could be registered with the Ministry for Health and be monitored.
Distribution of personal protective equipment (PPE)
Volunteer safety was guaranteed during the screening sessions by adhering to a strict health protocol, including provision of PPE (protective clothing, eye protection, masks, and hand sanitiser). To raise patients’ awareness about protective measures and the use of protective equipment, masks and sanitiser gel were also handed out at each screening session.
sanitiser gels distributed
The first case of local COVID-19 contamination was detected in Rodrigues on 27 January 2022. Following a request from the local authorities, and in order to help contain the epidemic, Mauritius Red Cross supplied Rodrigues Health Commission with 1,000 antigen tests as well as an ambulance.
These actions were carried out with the support of European Union Humanitarian Aid.