Strengthening Local Mechanisms for COVID-19 Outreach and Prevention in Select Artisanal Mines of the Democratic Republic of Congo

ASM communities are critically underserved with health and social infrastructure. ASM sites in DRC are scattered and far from any urban infrastructure. Rural health posts are often the nearest health facility to these mining areas. Due to the desolate state of the national health system, these facilities are usually poorly equipped in terms of both personnel and material and offer minimal care, if any at all. Community health services including outreach services, which would be an asset for health

education campaigns including Covid-19, do not reach out to informal housing areas were artisanal

mining communities lodge. The purpose of this project is to strengthen the resilience of ASM communities with regard to Covid-19 as well as gender-based violence and mental health in DRC by designing health education programmes to produce stable and lasting changes in behaviour

The World Bank, Extractives Global Programmatic Support (EGPS) Multi-Donor Trust Fund, supports developing countries to build extractives sectors that drive inclusive, sustainable growth and development and ultimately, poverty reduction. Health Focus and Synergy Global Consulting (The Consortium) have been contracted to strengthen local mechanisms for COVID-19 outreach and prevention in select artisanal mines of the Democratic Republic of Congo using innovative communication approaches. This vital 1-year project aims to; review and assess the health education needs of artisanal and small-scale mineworkers, their families and surrounding communities and develop contextually appropriate health education messaging. The messaging will be delivered by local catalysts for change (change agents), media and radio, to raise the awareness of COVID 19, its prevention and other identified health education needs. This will be carried out within the mining hubs on the eastern side of the Democratic Republic of Congo where the majority of mining and artisanal mining takes place. The Consortium will empower appropriate local persons, networks and organisations to become change agents and a sustainable resource for delivering the key health education messages.