As the global health community and the world come together to face the COVID-19 pandemic, we can’t help but acknowledge the disproportionate lack of resources in the under-developed countries we serve. Compounded by the fact that the majority of our patient population faces underlying medical conditions, our actions during this time must be swift.
Our network of nurses and surgeons who are normally performing operations and repairing children’s hearts and bodies, have quickly adapted to prevent the spread of this deadly disease. Through our hospital network, United Surgeons for Children is working to ensure that our partners – particularly those in the least developed countries – have the tools needed to treat those who contract coronavirus.
This is difficult, harrowing work for those on the front-lines. And during this time, we want all of our medical professional to know how important and valued they are. Please consider sharing a message of hope – a heart to heart, if you will – with our healthcare workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure that their work does not go unnoticed. You can meet some of these special, essential healthcare workers and share a letter of hope, below.
If you are in a position to give, please consider a donation to United Surgeons for Children, to support and accelerate our COVID response in developing countries.
Our COVID Response
- Provision of equipment: the main needs identified by our partner hospitals are a lack of hospitalization beds and resuscitation beds. USFC is working to ship these beds and equipment to our partners to allow for access to oxygen and proper monitoring of patients.
- Provision of medicine and consumables: USFC has shipped monitors, ventilators, syringes, respiratory circuits and intubation kits to the CHU Tengandogo Hospital in Burkina Faso as part of our aid response. In addition, we have sent protection equipment including masks, blouses, gloves and glasses to the medical, administrative and cleaning teams at the CHU Fann Hospital in Senegal and the Mère-Enfant Le Luxembourg Hospital in Mali.
- Technical assistance and support: With medical missions suspended, USFC teams are providing remote technical assistance in resuscitation and medical device maintenance to the local medical teams in Senegal and Burkina Faso
- Community Awareness Sessions: an essential part of the fight against this pandemic is awareness and education. Awareness campaigns are in development with local partners to educate the community on the symptoms and signs of COVID-19 as well as on prevention measures both in the urban and remote areas of the country. In Burkina Faso, La Voix du Paysan radio is broadcasting awareness programs in small villages and we are organizing community chats to promote sanitation, hygiene and health measures to prevent rapid transmission of COVID-19. We have also donated 10 washstands to the CHU Tengandogo hospital.
At the FMIC hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan, our local teams, in collaboration with the World Health Organization and the Afghan Health Ministry, have established a free screening center, a quarantine room and a treatment center dedicated to COVID-19 patients. USFC’s Children’s Pavilion which is normally used to house children before and after surgical treatments, has been converted to housing to accommodate the hospital healthcare workers as they work in rotation every two weeks.
Amid coronavirus quarantines in India, USFC is active in Jaipur, Rajasthan at the Taabar and Flemingo schools, serving food to local families as well as making masks for the community. USFC has made our mobile clinics available to the government so that check-ups and medical services are more readily available to all.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Haiti shut down all schools in the country – including a dozen schools in which USFC ran canteen programs. In response, our teams are working hard to continue distributing food parcels to local children in Grand’Anse who relied on the school canteen for a meal each day. We are also distributing soap, hand sanitizer and making masks for the local community.
Please check back for regular updates about our direct response.