In a normal year, Gorongosa Park healthcare staff deliver health care services to around 100,000 people living near Gorongosa National Park. This year the team is working non-stop with local communities to fight the spread of COVID-19.
Volunteers are working with healthcare staff to increase access to clean drinking water, improve sanitation, and teach aggressive handwashing techniques by organizing and serving on community WaSH teams. These teams are stationed at watering wells, equipped with hand washing materials and other resources designed to prevent the spread.
Some of the additional items include one of 3,000 face masks produced by the Park staff to protect its workers and people in the Buffer Zone communities from COVID-19.
The Associação Ajudar Moçambique of Portugal donated personal protective equipment including gloves, masks and protective clothing.
Boise State University in Boise, Idaho, USA donated 200 face shields to Gorongosa National Park for local healthcare workers fighting the spread of COVID-19. More than 214 people from throughout Idaho shared 3-D printers and used their expertise to create the face shields, including local school districts, libraries, private community members, businesses with 3D printers, and BSU staff, students and faculty.
Biofund – a non-profit headquartered in Maputo – is committing up to three million dollars to help maintain the jobs of up to 950 of the 1,600 rangers in the National System of Conservation Areas, which includes Gorongosa National Park.
Covid-19 is a serious threat to the people living in the Gorongosa National Park Buffer Zone, especially in communities with struggling health systems. The Park Buffer Zone is served by one small hospital, 28 health clinics and 375 healthcare workers and volunteers. Healthcare workers are stationed at the health clinics and hold 20 monthly mobile clinic sessions in remote areas.
Donations are currently being accepted to:
- Train community health workers how to recognize COVID-19 symptoms and refer people to treatment;
- Provide healthcare workers with facemasks, eye protection and sterile gloves; and
- Distribute COVID-19 prevention kits including soap and sanitizer, prevention awareness materials, test kits and protective equipment.
To donate, visit the Park’s website.