SANNI’s Covid-19 Response

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SANNI Foundation is at the forefront of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in Kerala, India and Hlaingthayar, Myanmar. Please read below to learn about our initiatives to test and treat COVID-19, as well as support communities struggling from the socio-economic consequences of the pandemic.


Since the second wave of COVID-19 hit India in April 2021, SANNI’s St John’s hospital has worked closely with the local authorities to create a coordinated regional response to combat the new surge of infections. This includes:

  • Set apart 25% of hospital beds to treat new positive cases.
  • Erected a new emergency fever clinic for COVID screening near the hospital.
  • Converted a neighbouring medical building to treat more COVID-19 patients.
  • Created an emergency fund to provide more support for the hospital and the staff to continue the fight.

St John’s has also become a COVID-19 vaccination centre, chosen by the government because of the high-quality care the centre provides. The first and second vaccination priority groups were front line health workers and then 60 or older age demographic. We will continue to work closely with the government to continue the vital rollout of the vaccine.

The children living in the SANNI Bhavan care home have been studying using special online remote classes since July 2020. Children in senior classes 10-12 have taken end of year exams.

Special activities have been organised throughout the year to provide extra-curriculum education as well as fun day trips. This has included creating a new vegetable garden, beach trips, costume design workshops and sports days. The vegetable garden proved such a success that the produce is now being sold at the SANNI SHOPPI and profits go back into SANNI’s projects!

The garden project inspired a new Seed Distribution project to help families in the wider community struggling with unemployment caused by the pandemic to promote self-reliance. 300 seed packages were distributed to unemployed households with special classes to grow their own vegetables.

The seed distribution project

The fever clinic at St John’s

COVID-19 testing service at St John’s


Myanmar’s public health care system is one of the weakest in the world and SANNI’s Lotus clinic has been a vital lifeline to vulnerable communities in Hlaingthayar region to continue accessing free health care. A special fever clinic was quickly established in April 2020 to identify positive COVID-19 cases. As always, all services are free of charge. Community Outreach Workers also helped educate communities across the region about vital everyday techniques to protect themselves and the community, including proper handwashing and social distancing.

SANNI also help fund our partner’s projects to create emergency pop-up clinics to treat positive patients. 300 staff were recruited and trained to run 17 Covid wards with 805 beds. Urgent cases were prioritised with oxygen and medication treatment. Over 1,000 patients had been treated by the end of 2021.

The Child Sponsorship program has continued throughout this period to ensure each child still has food security. Strict infection control policies, in accordance with WHO guidelines, were implemented to ensure safe practice of the program. Additionally, extra education materials were provided to every child during the school closure.

The two lockdown periods caused mass unemployment across the country and had a severe and devastating impact on the impoverished communities in the industrial zones of Hlaingthayar. SANNI conducted a survey of all households enrolled in the Child Sponsorship program and found 98% were unemployed, 88% were forced to borrow money to afford food, 99% found it difficult to access food.

To address the growing crisis, SANNI quickly created the COVID-19 Emergency Response which provided financial or food support to 3 priority groups; child sponsorship households, vulnerable/unemployed households (elderly, disabled, very young), and female-headed households. Over 3,000 households have been supported, supporting an estimated 19,500 people.

Esther Hnin, our Child Support project manager, assembling food packages

Emergency food distribution in Hlaingthayar

Food distribution for unemployed single mothers

Temperature screening at the Lotus Clinic

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