Now imagine if you slept on the streets? Or lived in a place without running water? Or lived somewhere like Uganda, where there is less than 1 doctor (0.08 to be exact) per 1,000 people. (For reference, Italy has 4.2 doctors per 1,000 people and the US has 2.3 per 1,000 people.)
Ventilators are unknown luxuries in refugee camps. Social distancing and washing your hands are almost impossible when every day is a struggle to eat and homes don’t have running water or electricity. According to the WHO, there are 3 billion people who cook on open flame fueled by kerosene, biomass (wood, animal dung and crop waste) and coal; which compromises their respiratory system on a daily basis. When COVID-19 hits these people, the death rate is not going to be the 1-3.4% we’re facing in the US; it will be much, much higher.
As I write this, the first cases are being reported in Kenya, Uganda and Nigeria. South Africa has already reached double digits. While I worry for my community here, I am terrified for our partners abroad: the school who supplies the only meal a child will eat all day, the midwife traveling from hut to hut to deliver babies, the community health worker who may be the only person with medical training in her village, the entrepreneur who builds her co-op from nothing and the doctors and nurses who don’t have capacity to deal with their current medical emergencies, let alone one that could attack 80% of their populations.
You can also donate to organizations that are doing important health-related work, right now. These organizations are best suited to help as the situation progresses because they have established networks of caregivers and supply chains. We are honored to partner with some of these organizations and encourage you to make a donation today so that they can help people across the world prepare for what is to come.
Stay safe. Stay home. Donate if you can.