The COVID-19 Effect Series: Reflecting the current realities faced by the communities we serve

By April 3, 2020 May 18th, 2020 Learning, Publications, Regional

The COVID-19 Effect Series: Part 1
COVID-19 and its effects on diverse SOGIESC communities, HIV services and Key Populations

The COVID-19 Effect Series: Part 2
Community-Based Organisations in times of the pandemic

The COVID-19 Effect Series: Part 3
Possible effects on human rights of key populations and LGBTQI Community

The COVID-19 Effect Series: Part 4
A collective call for immediate response amid COVID-19 outbreak and government lockdowns

The COVID-19 Effect Series:
Community clinics in Thailand strives to provide HIV services amid COVID-19

The COVID-19 Effect Series:
A collective call for immediate response amid COVID-19 outbreak and government lockdowns

COVID-19 has placed half of world’s population in confinement which include curfews and quarantines. Some 2.78 billion residents of 49 countries and territories are currently subject to obligatory confinement at home. In at least 10 other countries, totalling 600 million people, governments are urging residents to stay at home. At least 26 other nations or territories, accounting for some 500 million inhabitants, have introduced curfews, obliging people to stay at home throughout the evening and night. In most places, people are still able to get out of the house to make vital purchases, such as food or medicine or to go to work, though residents are encouraged to work from home if possible.[1]

In Asia, these rules apply to India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Philippines, Thailand, among others.

The present COVID-19 situation is affecting the LGBTQI communities and the key populations which we work with. The present landscape is changing on an almost daily basis and thus, contributes to a general atmosphere of uncertainty. The global pandemic has brought waves of concern to the HIV health services, especially to community-based organizations whose work is to get people tested. Governments restrictions on mobility and rules of confinement has greatly affected the delivery of health services at a local level without guidance on other measures to make sure that services are still accessible to those who mostly need them. The same has also affected the activities of the LGBTQI organizations which we work with.

To respond to this, APCOM developed its own protocols.

On a larger scale, APCOM initiated discussions with our partner organizations and communities we work with to gather information about the COVID-19 situation in their countries, on the effects of COVID-19 to the community and the immediate needs arising from the pandemic.

The following are a series of stories and articles from the information we have gathered with the help of our country partners. Through this series, we aim to reflect the realities on the ground faced by the constituents we serve, which might be missed out in the present COVID-19 narratives.

Based on these narratives, APCOM also came up with recommendations which hopefully will contribute to our collective response to this pandemic.

APCOM would like to acknowledge our country partners and communities in building this first set of information on the effects of COVID-19, and we hope to collect and build on the voices from the ground to cover more countries from the Asia Pacific region:

  • Cambodia (Micro Rainbow International)
  • India (Gopi Shankar, founder of Srishti Madurai)
  • Indonesia (Suara Kita, Yayasan Gaya Dewata)
  • Lao PDR (Lao Positive Health Association)
  • Mongolia (Youth for Health)
  • Nepal (Blue Diamond Society)
  • Pakistan (Dareecha Health Society)
  • Philippines (Babaylanes)
  • Sri Lanka (Palitha Vijayabandara)

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