Coronavirus crisis: an urgent challenge for NPH
As coronavirus starts to affect Latin America, NPH faces two immediate challenges:
- Maintaining all the services we provide to people, especially vulnerable children in our homes and surrounding communities.
- Preventing infection and preparing for the inevitable cases, not only among the children in our care, but also affecting those who work for NPH.
Fragile healthcare systems
Healthcare systems in Latin America are fragile. Most countries have fewer than 100 intensive care beds. Consequently, preventing the spread of the virus is the key to overcoming it.
What NPH is doing to combat coronavirus
Statista are providing data about the spread of the coronavirus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
NPH is focusing on the following measures against coronavirus:
Guaranteeing the supply of food and medicine
NPH is working to guarantee the supply of food and medicines to the 3,000 children in our care in 9 Latin American countries (antipyretics to reduce fever, pain killers, anti-inflammatories, surgical gloves, anti-bacterial soap, thermometers). We also need to ensure the same supplies for our paediatric hospital, St. Damien, in Haiti, where 90,000 children receive care every year.
Keeping clean to prevent the spread of the virus
NPH is working hard to make sure that children take care of themselves by washing their hands thoroughly and avoiding physical contact as far as possible. We’re also ensuring that our medical staff have the necessary anti-bacterial products and surgical gloves.
Awareness-raising about the virus
NPH healthcare experts are running an awareness-raising campaign with children, staff and volunteers about coronavirus, its symptoms, prevention and treatment.
Keeping movements to a minimum
NPH is limiting the movements of all those who work with us: our childcare, administrative and cleaning staff, and international volunteers, as well as our university students.
Focus on children with special needs
We are paying particular attention to children in our care who have special needs and in some cases are less able to recognise symptoms or take the necessary measures to care for themselves.
Quarantine in case of suspected infection
Anyone – child or adult – thought to be infected with coronavirus will be put into quarantine immediately.
Temporary closure of the volunteer programme
If interested in volunteering for NPH, you are welcome to contact us. Please note that for the time being NPH will not be sending any volunteers abroad, but we can make excellent use of your help in the UK. For example, you could become an NPH ambassador.
You can help
The virus is creating challenges for everyone, everywhere, but fragile healthcare systems exacerbate the threat in Latin America. If you can help, please make a donation to ensure that we can fend off the threat of the coronavirus and maintain our vital childcare services.