Samaritan’s Purse has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by caring for critically ill patients, launching infection prevention and control projects around the world, and adapting existing projects to align with COVID-19 health guidelines.
In spring 2020, we simultaneously operated two Emergency Field Hospitals in New York City and Cremona, Italy, both coronavirus hot spots in desperate need of additional medical support.
Samaritan’s Purse deployed to Italy at the height of the country’s battle with the deadly disease. Not a single coronavirus patient in the Cremona Hospital intensive care unit had survived prior to our arrival. Our DC-8 aircraft made two airlifts in order to deliver urgently needed medical supplies and our 14-tent mobile hospital, which we set up in the Cremona Hospital parking lot. After about two months of work, our team had cared for 281 patients in Jesus’ Name.
Just two weeks after opening the Italy hospital, we sent another field hospital to New York City and set up in Central Park. We partnered with the Mount Sinai Health System and treated more than 300 COVID-19 patients from April 1 to May 5.
We praise God that we saw patients at both Emergency Field Hospitals recover from near physical death, and they also heard the Good News of Jesus Christ from our doctors and nurses.
In October, Samaritan’s Purse deployed another Emergency Field Hospital to Nassau, the Bahamas, to provide added capacity for an overwhelmed Princess Margaret Hospital. Our team also provided hospital staff with infection prevention and control training. The hospital was airlifted to the Bahamas on Oct. 15 aboard our DC-8 cargo jet along with 14 tons of medical supplies and personal protective equipment.
Even during a pandemic, Samaritan’s Purse teams in field offices around the world continued to help alleviate suffering and to demonstrate God’s love to people in need. These are just some of the ways we responded to COVID-19:
• Partnered with local churches to do food and hygiene kit distributions in the Navajo Nation.
• Trained medical personnel in Beirut, Lebanon, on infection prevention and control.
• Constructed an emergency quarantine facility in the Philippines to support the COVID-19 isolation and treatment capacity of a local medical center.
• Airlifted critical medical supplies and equipment, as well as trained medical professionals, from Kenya to Maban County Hospital in northeast South Sudan.
• Equipped ELWA Hospital in Liberia to care for overflow COVID-19 patients from the main government treatment facility, providing oxygen and essential medical supplies for a 22-bed Respiratory Treatment Unit.
• Hosted training for more than 400 frontline medical workers in Khartoum, Sudan, in order to bolster the national capacity to care for coronavirus patients.
• Distributed food and hygiene kits and taught about virus prevention in low-income communities in Bolivia.
• Provided COVID-19 prevention materials and information about stress management in Iraq, and also delivered emergency food to mothers throughout the country.
• Offered primary medical care and hygiene training to migrant communities along the Colombia-Venezuela border.
• As the coronavirus pandemic continues, Samaritan’s Purse remains ready to respond at a moment’s notice as needed anywhere in the world.
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