Epicentre shifts to Latin America
The epicentre of the Covid19 pandemic has shifted to Latin America and the Caribbean. All of the communities surrounding our NPH homes, clinics and hospital have reported cases of Covid19.
NPH works in Peru and Mexico, which are in the top ten of most affected countries worldwide.
Most countries in Latin America have tried to apply lockdown restrictions. However, these efforts have been hampered by a lack of social security, forcing desperate families to risk contagion in order to get food on the table. With over 50% of the region’s work force being in the informal sector, and many without bank accounts, it’s a difficult task to get help to those who need it most.
Healthcare systems across the region are underfunded and stretched to the limit. With so few ICU beds, let alone ventilators, oxygen, PPE or Covid19 tests, the pandemic has made medical professionals fear for their lives.
Our NPH St Damien Paediatric Hospital is the only hospital in the whole country which is accepting children with Covid19 symptoms. Many other clinics and hospitals have simply shut down as they lack basic PPE. This has put extra strain on our hospital, which also provides essential services to pregnant women, babies, malnourished children and cancer patients.
Dr Brice says, “When we have a patient who dies it is difficult to know if it’s a case of Covid19. We have no tests.”
As well as our hospital, NPH cares for nearly 3000 children who can’t live with their families. We also fully support nearly 3000 children who are living with their families. While we battle the health crisis, the financial crisis is knocking on our door. The need has never been greater, with rising costs, coupled by fundraising events being cancelled around the world.
While we face difficult decisions regarding budget cuts, we have desperate families lining up outside our homes asking for food. It feels cruel to cut back on essential services when the need has never been greater.
With your help we can reach more children and families who are struggling during the pandemic.