During the campaign, we learned that we had to take the danger of the coronavirus seriously. One of the ways to protect against and combat this deadly contagious disease is wearing masks.
COVID-19 has hit Afghanistan hard. The last official tally reported around 42,000 COVID-19 cases and over 1,500 deaths, though the actual figures are likely higher. Low education levels, limited access to information, water and sanitation; and a weak health system make it difficult for the country to control the rapid spread of the virus.
Awareness campaigns have helped dispel misinformation about the coronavirus while promoting precautionary measures like frequent hand washing and wearing masks.
24-year-old Shukria is part of a growing cohort of women across Afghanistan who have turned to producing masks to meet the demand triggered by the threat of the virus in their communities. What convinced Shukria to take action is an awareness campaign about the coronavirus that the Citizens’ Charter, Afghanistan’s flagship development program, organized in her village. So far, she has distributed nearly 1,000 masks to neighbours and villagers who cannot afford to buy protective equipment. Shukria now intends to train more women in the village to stitch and sew their way to helping defeat the coronavirus.
Afghanistan has redeployed two leading development programs to promote health recommendations to fight COVID-19 in thousands of rural and urban communities.
Shukria and the millions like her facing the COVID-19 in Afghanistan urgently need equal access to the tests, treatments and vaccines required to fight this pandemic.
Learn more about Shukria’s story on The World Bank’s website.