Supporting Peru’s COVID-19 response through communication and education

Written by Las Bambas     October 20 2020 at 4:32 PM

From start of the COVID-19 pandemic our Las Bambas operation has been very active in supporting its employees and host communities. This has included a strong pre-site arrival testing and strict health and hygiene protocols at site.

Las Bambas has also undertaken a number of activities to strengthen the public health response of regional and local governments, as well as to reinforce food security, education and well-being of families. The objective was to ensure that we are able to face the pandemic and ensure the well-being of the communities in the Cotabambas province and the Apurímac region.

Las Bambas’ social strategy is focused on two main pillars:

  • Strengthen the health strategy of regional and local governments, and
  • Reinforce food security for families, support the education sector and providing humanitarian aid.

These initiatives have allowed us to help more than 120,000 families during the Peruvian State of National Emergency. Part of the strategy included sponsoring the second stage of the project led by the Peruvian National University of Engineering to design a prototype of a mechanical ventilator (called Suyay which stands for hope in Quechua), in order to alleviate the high demand of ventilators in the country’s hospitals. This equipment will be manufactured in Peru and will soon be distributed in hospitals in Apurímac and Cusco.

We have been providing advice and training to 535 local entrepreneurs in order to contribute to the economic reactivation of the Apurimac region. The aim is to support the design a strategy to reactivate economic activities under the guidelines set forth by the National Government.

Radio Surphuy’s education campaigns

Radio Surphuy, the community radio station administered by Las Bambas, has played a pivotal role in supporting the educational outcomes of all students during the last six months. The station was chosen by the Peruvian Ministry of Education and the UGEL Cotabambas to be the official broadcaster for the Cotabambas province of the Peruvian Government’s “I learn at home” education campaign, aimed at school-age students in the province. Thousands of households have been receiving 30 hours of educational content each week since April 2020.

During the radio programming, Las Bambas also undertakes awareness campaigns on health topics such as prevention measures against COVID-19. This includes segments on the correct use of masks, social distancing and hand washing, which were developed and broadcast by the team in both Spanish and Quechua. The station also targeted social gatherings in the region, including birthday celebrations, soccer matches, assemblies and community meetings, with specific health messages for each setting.

We strengthened our COVID-19 communication support by providing coverage to the actions of the Peruvian COVID-19 Command, which comprises political authorities, health, education and the Armed Forces. The team conducts interviews of local and regional authorities and seeking recommendations on behalf of the population regarding government provisions and activities being developed in districts and communities.

Radio Surphuy has also launched mental health micro-programs run by the Community Mental Health Centre of the Challhuahuacho district to provide the population with messages about mental health and support opportunities in the context of COVID-19.

Las Bambas’ dedication and commitment to its host communities has been reflected in the actions we have undertaken to support the health strategy of regional and local governments, as well as to reinforce food security, education and well-being of families in our area of ​​influence.

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