Ebola awareness session at the "House of Jesus” in a slum community. The HI team presents information to its executive committee, passes on key messages and provides soap. / Archive photo (Sierra Leone - 2014) | © Adam Huebner / HI
From Burkina Faso to Senegal to Pakistan, the list of countries affected by COVID-19 grows longer by the day. Present in more than 55 countries worldwide, HI is determined to continue assisting its beneficiaries while safeguarding the health of its teams.
HI plans to ensure vulnerable individuals are included in health response to COVID-19.
Although Europe is currently at the centre of the pandemic, more and more developing countries are affected, with three-quarters of African countries reporting cases, including Burkina Faso, Senegal and Nigeria. The first deaths have been reported in countries in the Middle East, including Egypt and Iraq, and Asia, such as the Philippines and Vietnam.
In developing countries - where health systems are faltering or have already been weakened by crisis or conflict - the spread of the coronavirus threatens to create cascading health disasters.
HI works in more than 55 countries worldwide in aid of people with humanitarian needs. Despite the coronavirus, the organisation remains committed to assisting the most vulnerable individuals, such as people with disabilities, older people, and families displaced by conflict.
Vulnerable people find it hard to access health services. People with disabilities, for example, are often excluded from emergency response and may not have access to prevention messages and care if their country is hit by the epidemic.
HI may call on its teams to help prevent and raise awareness of COVID-19 with local partners and in support of local authorities.
The organisation also plans to help relevant authorities and organisations include vulnerable people in health response to combat the spread of the coronavirus.
Lastly, HI is working to make awareness and prevention messages - information on the disease, hygiene rules, social distancing, the importance of confinement, etc. - accessible to vulnerable people.