Leave a comment

Protection of Basic Health Infrastructures

Welcome to CENFACS’ Online Diary!

22 April 2020


Post No. 140




The Week’s Contents


• Protection Key Note 4:  Protection of Basic Health Infrastructures

• Coming Next Monday 27/04/2020: Virtual Reflection Day with a Focus on the Protection of Women and Children in Times of Health or Sanitary Crisis like Covid-19

• Advisory Support for Coronavirus Rescue Income (ASCRI)

… and much more!



Key Messages


~ Protection Key Note 4:  Protection of Basic Health Infrastructures


In the process of making sure that poor and vulnerable people are not or less harmed by the life-threatening and destroying impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, our last protection key note is on the protection of basic health infrastructures.

Despite the specialist equipment (like Personal Protection Equipment), medicine and vaccine to eradicate the coronavirus pandemic; we still need basic healthcare infrastructures to deal with the life-threatening and destroying impacts it is posing.

Under the Main Developments section of this post, you will find further details about this note.





~ Coming Next Monday 27/04/2020: Virtual Reflection Day with a Focus on the Protection of Women and Children in Times of Health or Sanitary Crisis like Covid-19


Our Protection month will climax next Monday the 27th of April 2020 to a Virtual Protection Day, which will focus on the Protection of Women and Children in Times of Health or Sanitary Crisis like Covid-19.  Amongst them, there are elderly women and young children.

CENFACS’ Reflection Day is a special eventful day to re-engage our mind set and spirit to deeply think about the fate of poor women and children, and engineer possible new solutions that can lift them out of poverty and hardships they are facing.  At this turbulent time of Covid-19, they may be facing sanitation poverty and associated hardships.    

Under the Main Developments section of this post, we have provided more information about the 2020 edition of CENFACS’ Reflection Day.




~ Advisory Support for Coronavirus Rescue Income (ASCRI) to Help Those in Most Need


ASCRI, which is part of CENFACS’ Cube of Protection, is a non-face-to-face advice, support and information project to help those in most need and who lost their earning capacity or potential because of the destructive impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on their incomes and lives. 

The ASCRI project has a double objective:

a/ helping deprived and vulnerable people impacted by Covid-19

b/ supporting them through the alleviation of the associated social and economic hardship caused by the coronavirus crisis.

The project, which will help them to improve their prospects for earning income again, is also a deterrent against side effects of losing income or earning capacity; effects such as mental, psychological and social breakdowns.  Additionally, the project will help avoid reversal gains made by those in most need against poverty and hardships.  In doing so, the project will assist them in better coping with undesirable change brought by Covid-19.

The ASCRI advice will be given in three keys areas:

# Advice to help stop the loss of income

# Advice to support response to the loss of income

# Advice on recovery measures to minimise the long term impact of Covid-19 after it ends, while helping them find new or alternative sources of income to prevent them from economic and financial collapse

Through this project, one can hope as outcomes, the following ones: self-confidence, self-esteem, hope, a newly survival strategy, develop new streams or sources of earning income again etc.

To access and or gain the benefits of this project, please contact CENFACS.




Extra Messages


~ Coronavirus Donations, Pledges and Gifts Needed!


Help CENFACS fight the Coronavirus together with you this Spring.

You can donate or pledge or make a gift aid declaration to help CENFACS’ in its Charitable Response to the Coronavirus (CRC) or Charitable Fight Against the Coronavirus (CFAC).

CRC or CFAC is a CENFACS’ contribution via its supporters to the global effort to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Any of the donations, pledges and gifts given will help the coronavirus-affected poor people in Africa.

To support, just contact CENFACS by quoting or asking the Charitable Response to the Coronavirus (CRC) or Charitable Fight Against Coronavirus (CFAC).

CRC or CFAC is a fundraising campaign set up by CENFACS to support the coronavirus-stricken poor people in Africa.

Thank you!





~ Rebuilding Coronavirus-hit Lives, infrastructures and Institutions


It may be too earlier to do the record of the total damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic since the priority is at the moment on saving lives.  However, since our Spring Relief season is about rebuilding lives, infrastructures and institutions; we can start to think about gradually rebuilding the coronavirus-hit lives, infrastructures and institutions.

Indeed, where the coronavirus disaster has struck it has left victims and fatalities.  These victims are human, infrastructural and institutional.  Whether it is in the UK or Africa or anywhere else, the coronavirus pandemic has taken lives and seriously damaged other ones. 

It has put enormous pressure on health infrastructures while bringing a historical economic downturn, and perhaps economic depression next year.

From the economic damage that the Covid-19 has already caused, one does not need to wait for two consecutive quarters or six straight months of negative economic growth in order to start to forecast economic recession. 

It has also knocked over protection institutions, let alone change of habits and ways of living even though they are temporary.

As we are trying to save lives, it is imperative that we start thinking rebuilding lives, infrastructures and institutions. 

So, the message here is we should not wait to rebuild while we are saving lives.  We should save lives as our first priority while paving our way of rebuilding lives, infrastructures and institutions.

In order to enquire about or discuss this extra message of rebuilding lives, infrastructures and institutions; please contact CENFACS.



~ Covid-19 and Africa’s Regional Economic Communities


The Coronavirus pandemic has tested the ability of regional economic integration models, including Africa’s regional economic communities, to deal with a global crisis of this nature. 

Due to the life-threatening and destroying impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, many in Africa have retreated to national interests to the detriment of the continental integration that they once cherished within the African Union.  One should wonder whether or not regional economic blocs were exactly designed to face these kinds of threat or disaster like the one brought by the Covid-19.

The Covid-19 disaster has impacted Africa’s regional economic integration models, particularly the free movements of persons, labour and capital.  For the sake of these Covid-19 thoughts, we are going to limit ourselves to the effects of Covid-19 on the free movements of poor people and of remittances to poor people and families.


Covid-19 and the free movement of poor people in Africa

Free movement of persons across borders is one of the key pillars of Africa’s regional economic integration.  However, with the Covid-19 storm this key pillar has been challenged. 

Indeed, some measures taken in Africa to fight Covid-19 were not in line with African realities of life.  In particular, these restrictions have adversely impacted more the poor and marginalised of African economies than the upper-middle and high income earners.  The distributional effects of these measures have been uneven and unequal. 

Restricting the free movement of persons by closing borders has enormously caused prejudice to poor in terms of food security and on the travel and transport wise, to name just the few consequences.  These restrictions have been imposed on the poor in some places without any financial bailout.   Poor cross border traders and workers have been in some cases denied the opportunity not only to make ends meet, but to survive as humans. 

No one is arguing against African-led measures to protect Africa’s citizens against the damaging effects of the coronavirus pandemic.  The real argument here is that these anti-coronavirus measures and restrictions have been sometimes taken against the economic realities that poor and marginalised people face in their daily life.  This is the same about the financial impact caused by the Covid-19 in relation to the free movement of capital via remittances from Africa’s Diaspora.


Covid-19 and Africa’s remittances from relatives abroad

In many African countries, there is no a social protection like the one you would find in the developed countries.  Many African countries do not have a universal government funded health system which is available to all citizens regardless of their income or employment status.  Many of them have no-universal health insurance systems.

Many people and families in Africa, who do not have food security and health security, rely on their relatives working abroad to send them money to live.  Last year alone, $49 billion as remittances by Africans in the Diaspora were globally recorded.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many Africans in the Diaspora have lost their jobs or capacity to earn income.  This loss of income combined with travel restrictions imposed and the closure of trading activities considered as non-essential (and amongst them are money transfer agencies) have made remittances to plummet. 

In countries where governments operate a money transfer system from export earnings of natural resources, the decline in commodity prices has reduced this transfer or simply made it impossible. 

So, restrictions on free movement of persons (here poor people) and remittances as a result of national retreat to slow the spread and speed of the coronavirus pandemic have challenged the ideals of regional economic integration in Africa.

One could have thought that Covid-19 would not reach countries outside any regional economic blocs.  Virtually all countries in the world have been affected by the Covid-19. 

Perhaps, one should do more for the poor and marginalised in Africa to change the dynamics of the course in their fight against Covid-19.  The thoughts on Covid-19 continue…   





Main Developments


Protection Key Note 4:  Protection of Basic Health Infrastructures


In this note, the focus will be on Africa.

Before going further in this key note four, let us clarify our position about basic health infrastructures.  To do that, we are going to define health infrastructures.

We have borrowed the definition of health infrastructures from the World Health Organisation (1), which argues that basic health infrastructure includes

“the physical (buildings) and supporting systems and services (such as power and electricity, water and sanitation, telecommunications) that constitute the fundamental operating platform needed to provide care”.  

Covid-19 has revealed the true state and story of many health infrastructures and systems including those in Africa.  This true revelation will still come when the full extent of the destruction of Covid-19 will be unveiled.  In the meantime, what can we learn from the above definition regarding Africa in relation to Covid-19?


• • The state of health infrastructures in Africa


Without entering an in-depth analysis of or putting on trial health infrastructures in Africa, one could say the following.

# Hospitals in Africa are under-resourced.

# Health systems are fragile.

# There is a lack of capacity in these hospitals.

# They are characterised by a chronic under-investment for decades.

# The social sector, with health and education in it, has suffered many financial cuts due to some previous financial orthodoxy and ideology.

# Destructive wars, armed conflicts and the negative effects of climate change in many parts of Africa did not make easier to protect the little available basic health infrastructures.

# Only few numbers of countries in Africa have a universal government funded health system, which is available to all their citizens regardless of their income or employment status.

# Many African countries have non-universal health insurance systems.  

It is not a surprise if the United Nations Development Programme (2) noticed the following:

“In Sub-Saharan Africa the number of physicians per 10,000 people was 2.1 between 2010 and 2018.

The population using at least basic sanitary facilities was 30% in 2017.” (p. 326)


Although these figures are for 2018 and 2017 respectively, they nevertheless provide an indication about health infrastructures in terms of quality (expressed by the number of medical doctors) and of standard of living (indicated by the level of sanitation poverty).

However, what is at stake here is the protection of basic health infrastructures in order to avert the life-threatening and destroying impacts of the coronavirus and future similar health disasters. 


• • Protection of basic health infrastructures


Since we are talking about the lack of health infrastructures to cope with the heaping pressure of the Covid-19, there is a need to speak about protecting the existing care, hospital and medical infrastructures while upgrading them.

It is imperative to build or rebuild healthcare infrastructures to match the pressure and demand that Covid-19 has posed.  The rebuilding aspect makes the content of our Spring Relief season of Rebuilding and project of Rebuilding Africa even more relevant than what one would have thought.

As part of re-building Africa, CENFACS previously contributed to the building of medical of health centre in Kewarla (Mali).  The centre, which was of limited capacity, was designed to support the locals and villagers in providing basic healthcare facilities since there was no hospital in the village.

Many of CENFACS’ healthcare Africa-based Sister Organisations are currently working on healthcare issues to support the coronavirus-hit people in their countries, communities and villages.  However, since there are national emergency and travel limitations combined with the fall of African diaspora remittances brought by the scars of coronavirus pandemic, their capacity to extend local health infrastructures for the purpose of fighting coronavirus is limited or simply has been wiped out.  This is happening let alone the fall in funding, commodity prices, food insecurity, hunger, lack of water and sanitation that some parts of Africa are now experiencing.

Briefly, right now there is imperative to protect and enhance basic healthcare infrastructures while extending or rebuilding specific coronavirus-related infrastructures as the need is urgent and pressing to save lives.  

For any enquiries about the month of protection and/or any of protection key notes, please contact CENFACS.


(1) https://www.who.int/hospitals/infrastruture_and_technologies/en/accessed in April 2020

(2) United Nations Development Programme (2019), Human Development Report 2019, Beyond income, beyond averages, beyond today: Inequalities in human development in the 21st Century, New York, USA


Coming Next Monday 27/04/2020: Virtual Reflection Day with a Focus on the Protection of Women and Children in Times of Health or Sanitary Crisis like Covid-19


This year, our Reflection Day, which will be the 10th Edition one, will be virtually run since we are following the health and care measures from the UK Government, the World Health Organisation’s guidelines, the NHS guidance and the charity sector’s supporting information about the coronavirus pandemic.

Generally, in a crisis of magnitude like of Covid-19 one should be thinking about all the potential victims.  Thinking like this could include all of us.  Since our Reflection Day was originally set up to help relieve women and children from poverty and hardships, our focus for this year’s reflection work will be on poor and vulnerable women and children who have been impacted or could potentially become victims of Covid-19.  Amongst them are poor and vulnerable elderly women and young children.  But, who are those women and children who will be the centre of our Virtual Reflection Day (VRD)?


• • Women and children who are the centre of CENFACS’ VRD: The Healthily Needy Women and Children


They include the following:

√ Women who cannot afford to pay for health care

√ Those suffering from gender gaps in health

√ Women without reproductive health assistance

√ Women listed as extremely vulnerable people by the UK Government

√ Those (girls) at risk because of early marriage

√ Women with mental health problems

√ The victims of the negative effects of Covid-19

√ Those suffering from the adverse impacts of climate change in health

√ Those without health insurance or without community-based health insurance coverage (like in Sub-Saharan Africa)

√ Vulnerable women and children to health inequalities

√ Under and mal nourished children

√ Children of low-income families with poor health and lower education

√ Those who do not have adequate access to health care provision

√ Those without universal health coverage programmes, etc.

The above named types of people are the ones who will make our VRD.  As we cannot continue to list all of healthily needy women and children, we may add other deprived and marginalised ones by the time we hold our VRD.


• • Areas of VRD for the Healthily Needy Women and Children


Our VRD will cover the following foundations of any reliable health system, which are:

√ Service delivery

√ Health workforce

√ Health information system

√ Access to essential medicines

√ Financing

√ Leadership or governance


These foundations or pillars of health system will guide us in our VRD for the Healthily Needy Women and Children in order to think ways of improving protection and reach to these healthily needy people, amongst them are included elderly women and young children. 

Since our model of protection for this year has incorporated the Covid-19, our VRD will have in mind Covid-19, particularly on how its impacts have reverberated in their lives as well as the kinds of support and change that need to be eracted for the future.

To support or join the Reflection Day on the Protection of Women and Children, please contact CENFACS.


Below we have provided a timeline about CENFACS’ Reflection Day for reference.


• • Reflection Day Timeline


The Reflection Day is a day of thoughts by bringing together the two pillars of our network and protection programme, which are 3W and PPS.  Although they started in 2003, we only introduced a Reflection Day (RD) in them in 2011. 

In 2016, we amalgamated 3W and PPS to become Women and Children projects as we noticed in some situations it was difficult to separate women’s and children’s needs.  Where their needs are separable or differentiated one to the other, we run either of the two brands (that is 3W and PPS) individually.  This is why these two brands of our network and protection are still alive despite their amalgamation.

The Reflection Day is a day of introspection to think in depth the ways forward for our systems of support network and protection for poverty relief and sustainable development in face of the current, new and emerging challenges ahead as well as the changing development landscape. 

Since its inception, the following is the timeline of 3W and PPS

2011: Making Networking and Protection Even Better in 2011

2012: Raising Standards in Poverty Reduction for Improving Lives

2013: Place of Women and Children in the Post-2015 Development World (Part I)

2014: Women and Children in the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda (Part II) – A Stock Taking Reflection Event

2015: Doing Business to Lift Women and Children out of Poverty

2016: Improving Digital Protection for the Extremely Digitally Poor Women and Children

2017: Reducing Information and Communication Poverty for Multi-dimensionally Poor Women and Children

2018: Making Transitional Economy Work for Poor Families  

2019: Protection of Women and Children in War-torn Zones and Natural Disaster-stricken Areas


For your information,

3W & PPS = Support Network and Protection for Poverty Relief and Development

Women and Children projects = amalgamation of 3W and PPS in 2016

3W (What Women Want) = a CENFACS support network scheme to enhance the lives of multi-dimensionally deprived women and families.

PPS (Peace, Protection & Sustainability) = a CENFACS child and environmental protection programme to support multi-dimensionally vulnerable children, young people and families

KNA (Keep the Net Alive) = a motto that helps to keep our networking for protection running.

For more information on 3W and PPS or Women and Children projects, please contact CENFACS.


Help CENFACS keep the Poverty Relief work going in 2020.

We do our work on a very small budget and on a voluntary basis.  Making a donation will show us you value our work and support CENFACS’ work, which is currently offered as a free service. 

One could consider a recurring donation to CENFACS in the furture.

Donate to support CENFACS!


FOR ONLY £1, YOU CAN SUPPORT CENFACS AND CENFACS’ PROJECTS, JUST GO TO http://cenfacs.org.uk/supporting-us/

Thank you for visiting CENFACS website and reading this post.

Thank you as well to those who made or make comments about our weekly posts.

We look forward to receiving your regular visits and continuing support throughout 2020 and beyond.

With many thanks.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *