The pandemic threatens vulnerable families.

Terre des hommes (uk)

21.04.2020 - News

Five innovative ways Tdh can respond to the COVID19 crisis

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread, it poses new risks for children and families living in vulnerable situations worldwide . At Terre des hommes, we are committed to finding new and innovative solutions to these current challenges. Here we set out five ways that Tdh could use its expertise and technology to respond to the COVID19 crisis. 

1. Our Intergrated e-diagnostic Approach (IeDA) health innovation

IeDA is Tdh’s biggest health project. It provides health workers with simple tools to improve the diagnosis of children’s illnesses using guidelines by the World Health Organisation. IeDA could revolutionise healthcare for children under 5. To date, it has provided 5m+ consultations to 2m+ children in Burkina Faso, vastly improving the accuracy of diagnosis according to the London School of Tropical Medicine.  We are also using IeDA in Mali and Niger.  

Using new technologies alongside more traditional methods and building on our experience of infection prevention and control during the Ebola pandemic, Tdh is supporting global efforts to improve epidemic prevention and response programmes. We are adapting IeDA to track the spread of COVID19 cases in real time and train healthcare workers to be able to diagnose it effectively, reducing the risk of its spread. We are also reviewing ways we can use Artificial Intelligence to flag new potential outbreaks.  

2. Fablabs

A FabLab is a communal space equipped with modern prototyping and manufacturing technology, things like computers, 3D printers, electronic software, digital sewing machines and so on. there are more than 1,200 FabLabs worldwide, inspiring creativity, education and innovation.  

Terre des hommes is a pioneer of FabLabs in the global South, and in emergency contexts. Greece, Ukraine, Gaza strip, Burkina Faso are some of the countries where Tdh has successfully implemented FabLabs with highly marginalised communities. Over the coming weeks and months, we hope to mobilise these Fablabs to produce Personal Protective Equipment which could be safely used to support local COVID19 responses. 

3. Gravit'eau  

Amidst the current global pandemic, handwashing facilities are more crucial than ever to help control the spread of the virus. In water scare settings such as refugee camps and rural healthcare facilities, lack of access to WASH poses new challenges in response to the crisis. 

Terre des hommes’ pioneering handwashing system Gravit’eau recycles water to reduce overall water use to just a fraction of conventional handwashing stations, saving an average of 1000 litres of water every day. The system uses gravity to filter the water so there is no need for electricity, chemical products or complex maintenance.  

The project was piloted in Nigeria with great initial results and we hope will soon be extended to cover more communities in response to COVID19.  

4. Childhub

Child Hub is Terre des hommes’ global online platform designed to strengthen child protection systems by facilitating learning and promoting the connection of professionals working to protect children. Childhub is an interactive digital platform, which enables over 6,400 frontline safeguarding professionals to exchange experiences and knowledge, learn from each other, offer and receive support. Managed in 8 languages, in 10 countries, with 15 academic partners, Childhub has attracted over 230,000 visitors on over 1m webpages. 

In response to COVID19, Tdh have launched a new Child Hub portal ( bringing together resources related to the pandemic and its impact on children. The portal offers advice and specific training material to equip social workers and professionals with important information to help tackle with the current situation. It also has a great section with resources for children themselves. 

5. Blue Schools

The aim of Tdh's Blue Schools programme is to ensure children have access to safe water and sanitation, whilst simultaneously offering a safe learning environment to teach children about the importance of environmentally friendly water management. The objective is to equip children with the knowledge and tools they need to be agents of change in their communities.  

Our hope is to adapt this project to support remote learning. By offering an online curriculum and access to educational resources, we can continue to deliver this valuable learning to children around the world.   

Learn more about Blue Schools here: 


During these challenging times we recognize the need to adapt to and overcome difficulties as we continue to help and protect children worldwide.  

Keep up to date with all the news surrounding our COVID19 response by signing up to our newsletter , and don't forget to follow us on social media @Tdh_UK .  

If you have any questions, please email