Corona crisis worldwide: these are the countries, where humedica is engaged

2020/07/03

Worldwide disaster relief: What has been a given for humedica over the last 40 years, obviously also applies in the Corona crisis. This time the situation is even more dramatic. Urgent responses are called for in several countries at the same time. The Corona virus causes a need for medical professionals and equipment everywhere. Prices for vital materials shoot up while intervention team members are often needed in their own home countries. In many countries the stay-at-home-orders have additionally caused dramatic consequences: people, who usually earn their living as day laborers, are now left with nothing.

Travel restrictions, too, complicate relief operations in foreign countries: intervention team members run into various difficulties when they try to fly into affected regions. In such a situation the vast partner network that humedica has been able to build up during the last four decades finally pays off. The quick help provided by humedica often involves long-term projects, because disasters do not end after the initial emergency aid. Therefore, we had started to train people in affected regions how to respond to such crises a long time ago. This is why humedica is able to help as many people as possible in this particular situation.

Also on a financial level: worldwide we intend to help people with approximately one million Euro. In cooperaton with our partners on site we plan aides for Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, Lebanon, Pakistan and Sudan. In Lebanon for example, preperations for a possible COVID-19 outbreak in one of the refugee camps, where we provide medical care, are running at full speed. We are also engaged in other countries and intend to widen our commitment.

Please read here where we were already able to help. This site is updated regularly.

ZIMBABWE: Healthcare system burdened not only with Corona

The food is distributed with sufficient safety distance. Photo: humedica

In Zimbabwe, people do not only live in fear of Corona, also malaria and typhus burden the fragile healthy system. Malnutrition is another constant problem in the country. After the floods and landslides last year, nearly a third of the population depended on outside help. humedica therefore takes care of pregnant and nursing women as well as children under five by providing them with nutritious food. Corona impedes this work, which is why humedica introduced preventive measures for its distribution. Furthermore, it is planned to create awareness for the disease among the people and to provide medical personnel with protective equipment.

INDONESIA: Not enough money for both food and school fees

Corona does not spare island states like Indonesia, in particular Jakarta has been hit hard. Inhabitants there suffer most from the economic consequences, many have lost their work due to the curfew. Anwar, who used to manage a construction project before the pandemic, lost his job and has now to collect plastic waste in order to earn his living. „If I continue to work like this, the money I earn will not be enough to pay for both school fees and food“, he reports. humedica and Alpha Omega support him as well as in total 2,000 other people with food packages in these difficult times. Five kilos of rice, oil, noodles as well as soy sauce in each package help them to cover their basic nutritious needs.

Ethiopia: Safeguarding medical care

In virtually no other country there are so many refugees as in Ethiopia. While some of them were expelled from one region into another within the country, more than one million other refugees arrived from neighboring states. For these people humedica provides medical care in huge refugee camps. You dread to think how much harm the Corona virus may cause in these camps, where often all family members share one single tent. It is all the more important to secure their health care. In particular the people, who help others, must urgently be protected. When in March this year the first infections had been reported, the government asked humedica for help. humedica now supports the Ethiopian government with personal protection equipment for medical professionals.

The medical supplies are first sorted before they reach the facilities. Photo: humedica

Not only medical help is needed urgently. Even before the pandemic set in, several families could not afford to buy food. In the course of our family sponsorship program humedica therefore helps with food and hygiene articles for four months: 900 people receive for example flour and rice. We also support 500 more persons, who live below the poverty line and who need our help all the more in these times.

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PERU: Fighting the Corona crisis with seed capital

The Corona crisis in Peru has an impact on all areas of life. Since the 16th of March social distancing guidelines and a lockdown are valid there, too. Even so these measures are necessary to fight the virus, they also have severe consequences for the daily lives of the needier Peruvian families. Most families in the poorer quarters of Lima depend on their daily income. Hence the curfew causes severe poverty as well as malnutrition, mainly among children. humedica therefore organizes nutritional support and measures to secure their livelihood with its partner on site, YMCA Peru. Workshops, credits and seed capital will assist single mothers and families to set up new existences. Pregnant and nursing women will also receive better access to malnourishment examination programs.

COLUMBIA: Protecting also inmates from Corona

Keeping one´s distance – even after weeks and months this requirement is still especially important in the fight against COVID-19. But in the prisons of Columbia it is nearly impossible to follow this guideline. In part, the jails are at more than 300 per cent capacity. Especially vulnerable inmates are therefore already allowed to serve a part of their sentence at home. Visits are forbidden, jails try to provide the remaining prisoners with protective clothing. As the government does not support these efforts, the prisons depend on help from third parties. In cooperation with the organization Prison Fellowship, which is active on site in prisons all over Columbia, humedica fitted out in total ten prisons with safety clothing such as face masks or latex gloves.

Philippines: food packages, trainings and protection equipment

In the Philippines humedica supports people, who have lost their jobs due to the Corona crisis, with urgently needed food. Photo: PHILRAD

The island state has quarantined the capital region because of the Corona pandemics, jobs have become scarce. Together with the local partner PHILRADShumedica helps with food packages. The parcels containing food and hygiene articles are much needed as many laborers in this region live from daily wages. Nowadays, when companies, hotels, industry and government branches are closed, they lack their income. The Philippine partner PHILRADS has therefore prepared and distributed aid packages for in total 2,000 families. Each family receives among other items 15 kilogram of rice as well as five cans of durable tinned meat and fish, cacao and soap – enough for at least two weeks. Medical helpers are provided with medical care packages containing gloves, head and shoe protection as well as safety googles.

In this already difficult situation, the country has been struck by another disaster: typhoon Vongfong has hit the three regions Visayas, Luzon and Bicol.

Sri Lanka: fear of infection causes need for food packages

In Sri Lanka especially sick persons, suspicious cases as well as the medical personnel, which takes care of them, are hit hard. As their family members are afraid to get infected, now they are lacking even most basic practical support – among other items also vital ones such as food or hygiene articles. Hence humedica Lanka has provided them with packages containing food and hygiene articles. The parcels, which contain also several liters of water, on average two and a half kilos of milk powder, sugar, coriander, ginger and coffee, are meant to last for two weeks.

In Sri Lanka humedica helps with food and hygiene packages. Photo: humedica Lanka

Not only sick people or caretakers receive support. In Sri Lanky humedica runs several so-called GROW Centers, which take care of children. Their parents are mainly day labourers, who are also provided with vital food packages.

In collaboration with the health ministry and with the help of many women, who completed a sewing course at humedica Lanka, 7,000 face masks and protective clothing were manufactured for medical helpers, who perform Corona tests in quarantine centers.

Pakistan: left penniless by unemployment

Like in the Philippines the lockdown in Pakistan has also caused a precarious situation for many laborers: there are no more jobs for day laborers, due to the fear of infection nobody wants to employ for example cleaners. Without any social insurance this means a loss of income, of livelihood. Affected persons can not even buy something to eat. humedica and the partner Pak Mission Society therefore support especially needy people such as widows or single parentsboth financially or with food packages: just under 28 Euro each month allows them at least to purchase the necessary food. Till date humedica was able to supply 650 families in total for a period of two months.

India: fear of starvation – food for the poorest

In India, too, the situation is equally bad. The lockdown caused great misery for many people, who depend on day jobs: they are more afraid to die of hunger than to catch the virus. The Kolar Gold Fields region with including several slums and border districts is in a particularly difficult situation. In desperation many people had decided to go home – regardless whether home is 80 or 900 kilometers away. humedica India helps them with hygiene kits and food packages. It is planned to support up to 20,000 people with rice, dhal, oil and salt as well as other items. Till date we could reach approximately 16,300 people with our aid measueres. At the same time helpers inform affected people about hygiene and social distancing guidelines to reduce the spreading of the virus. Since the 21st of June humedica supports people also with three canisters of urgently needed drinking water.

Brazil: Supporting families with face masks, food and schooling

In Brazil the situation caused by Corona is especially dramatic: the infection and mortality rates rise alarmingly quick.Therefore, humedica´s sister organization humedica Brazil works tirelessly. As it is very difficult to reduce the spreading of the virus, humedica Brazil employs young women and mothers from poor families: they sewed 10,000 face masks, which the sister organization distributed to needy people.

In the current circumstances the homeless as well as street children are especially vulnerable: they were provided with 100 aid packages containing among other items milk, juice, cookies, toothpaste and soap. But school children are supported as well: humedica Brazil prints out school papers, purchases coloured pencils, prepares learning tasks as well as home work and distributed chocolate at Easter.

Also thanks to a few individual donations in kind like food, clothing or hygiene articles provided by private persons or companies, humedica Brazil can at least help a little bit. In particular Starbucks took note of the work of humedica Brazil and now supports it by donating bread, coffee and milk.

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NEPAL: Corona protection equipment in short supply

In Nepal, too, personal protective clothing for medical personnel is lacking. humedica therefore supports the local partner organization Nepal International Fellowship in purchasing these vital items. Simultaneously the medical professionals of the partner hospital are trained in their correct use, because the safety clothing can only protect from infection if used appropriately. Guidelines and protocols have been prepared for the employees on how to keep equipment and vehicles sterile. Positively tested patients are transported to the quarantine center of the hospital with an ambulance, which was sponsored by humedica. Also the regional state hospital Pokhara received protective clothing. In cooperation with the health ministry ministry a COVID-19-information video for disabled persons was produced. INF has installed a special tele-health service for them, which provides advice and assistance in the current situation.

It is also planned to take care of people in person soon again: medical personnel will drive to remote villages to provide in total 170 persons with medical goods such as drugs or protheses. Clinic treatment and accommodation expenses for five patients will be covered up to 30 days. Till date, humedica could support 79 households with food, too.

KENIA: Raising awareness – saving lives

Washing one´s hands and social distancing are two of the most important preventive measures against COVID-19. Meanwhile, this often-repeated mantra is well known in most parts of Kenia, but especially in the rural areas these facts are not yet common knowledge. Together with its partner World Concernhumedica therefore initiated an education campaign to inform about COVID-19 prevention. Along the river Tana World Concern sensitizes and informs in total 6,000 Menschen in 6 villages about this disease. It is particularly important that the partner acts on site, as many people do not come to the hospital for fear of COVID-19. Five health care institutions will receive hand wash products, another 300 utensils go to especially vulnerable persons to protect them better from infection.

NIGER: Food and prevention give hope

„House of Hope“ is the name of a center in Niger, which has been founded by humedica and its partners in 2016. The center offers people with disabilities the opportunity to meet and learn: 30 women and 25 men are trained in manual professions there. During the Corona crisis they are strongly limited at home and are barely able to care for themselves. humedica therefore supports 56 affected families with rice, beans, oil, soap and face masks.

Apart from the „House of Hope“, humedica is also engaged in Kollo since 2006: step by step a mother-child-clinic has been built, where pregnant women receive pre- and post-care. Endowed with medical devices such as an ultrasound scanner, the hospital now disposes of the best medical equipment in the whole region. Nutrition is an important topic here, too: Niger is one of the poorest countries of the world, many children are undernourished, which is why the hospital has also established a new division for nutrition.

As they are already suffering from health disadvantages, it is especially important to protect the adult and young patients of the clinic from Corona. The hospital has therefore been provided with 500 liters of additional liquid soap, 300 liters of hydroalcoholic gel, 100 liters of antiseptic soap, electronic thermometers and 10 additional hand washing stations. To support also the trans-regional prevention activities, five health and hygiene spots for radio and TV were produced and 2 televisions were installed in order to inform all patients.

Albania: A concept for earthquake victims also suitable in times of Corona

Only a few months ago Albania was hit by a disaster: an earthquake made many people homeless. Often they live in tents without running water. humedica´s partner on site Swiss Foundation of Innovation (SFI) provides them with hygiene articles in order to prevent Corona. The psychosocial aid program for affected people is adapted to the current situation: families, who have access to electricity, computer and internet can now seek this support digitally. All others receive this help in print distributed in the villages. The print content is easliy comprehensible and suitable for domestic use. Here also humedica helps to provide the personnel with protective clothing.

Ukraine: Food and toys bring joy in the crisis

The girls and their mother are happy about the food donations Photo: Children’s Mission Ukraine

Food packages, clothing, shoes, soap and children´s toys: in March our partner Children’s Mission Ukraine distributed these everyday items. The joy of the families, who received them, was incredible. Especially in this situation such measures are all the more important. The Children’s Mission Ukraine employees make every effort to provide the people with food for both body and soul. They sew masks, organize transports to work and have installed a center for the distribution of food. One employee, Maria, even contrived something special for Easter time: she baked Easter bread. Thank you very much for your compassion!

Kosovo and Romania: individual cases must not be forgotten

In Kosovo humedica Kosovo helps since many years: with the Christmas parcel campaign „Present from the heart“, with children day care centers or with a mobile clinic. In the current Corona crisis humedica supports 15 badly affected families with food and hygiene packages. They receive oil, sugar, noodles, potatoes, onions, chicken soup, sausages, milk, shampoo, soap, toilet paper as well as dishwasher agents and other products.

Aurika is happy: she holds the food that she and her family have received firmly in her arms. Photo: humedica

Another focus is on Romania: not only people, who do not have any family members and live in a retirement home, are supported. Needy people in prisons, too, are provided with medical care. During the Corona crisis we were also able to help several Roma villages with food packages. Furthermore, medicaments, hospital equipment and detergents were delivered to Romania.

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