Int’l doctors’ body distributes masks, soaps in Machar Colony

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The Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), also known as Doctors Without Borders, started on Wednesday disbursement of 218,000 cloth masks and 75,000 soaps to the poor population of Machar Colony located in Keamari town here. The door-to-door mass distribution of soaps and re-usable masks will take place over five days, and aims to provide the community with tools to help prevent COVID-19 spread from infected and asymptomatic patients to the general population. Every individual above 12 years of age is receiving two masks while three bars of soap are being provided to every household in Machar Colony. This activity is being conducted with the support of the Sindh Health Department through a team of over 100 community health care workers. Pakistan saw a rapid increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in June after Eid-ul-Fitr. As Eid-ul-Azha is another occasion of gathering and frequent social interaction, MSF is completing the distribution of masks before the Eid holidays in order to reduce the risk of high transmission due to possible noncompliance of social distancing and other safety measures during the celebrations. MSFs medical coordinator in Pakistan Anna Cillierssaid, the use of masks and regular handwashing with soap and water are proven measures to reduce the transmission of the COVID-19 virus. In an informal urban community like Machar Colony where social distancing is hard to maintain due to the crowded housing and high density population, the availability of tools to implement face covering and hand hygiene are important for every household. We acknowledge the support of the community health workers who will be distributing such a large quantity of masks and soaps, she expressed. With over 113,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases in whole of Sindh, Karachi is the most affected city in the province. Machar colony is located at the edge of a fish harbor and has an estimated population of 120,000.

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