By Lauren Odderstol April 14, 2020 Topics: COVID-19 Disease Outbreaks Emergency Response We’re living in a unique time right now. For many of us, it’s the first time we’ve seen one single event affect almost every country across the world. In times like these, we need the support of our community more than ever. At Medical Teams International, we provide life-saving medical care for vulnerable individuals around the world. Now that COVID-19 has entered every country where we work, access to critical medical supplies for our health care workers is more important than ever. Our teams around the world are taking action to fight COVID-19 and support their communities. A couple of weeks ago, our Guatemala team donated their most recent shipment — a 40-foot container filled with medical supplies, valued at $900,000 USD, which was en route to the country before the pandemic was declared — to the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in Guatemala. Becton Dickinson and Medline Industries provided the critical medical supplies in the container, and Providence funded the container shipment. Eighty-seven percent of the COVID-19 cases in Guatemala are in the Guatemala City region. These supplies will support health workers in a 3,000-bed temporary hospital in the Parque la Industria – established to care for positive COVID-19 patients. “God bless you. We are convinced that – together – we will succeed. Thank you…” — Dr. Alejandro Giammattei, President of Guatemala The President of the Republic of Guatemala, Dr. Alejandro Giammattei and Vice President Cesar Guillermo Castillo attended the donation ceremony and thanked Medical Teams International for the medical and surgical supplies for national hospitals. Without access to critical Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and medical supplies, the health facilities in Guatemala would not have the capacity to respond properly to this pandemic. Medical Teams is supporting the Guatemalan government’s response to COVID-19 by providing these supplies, implementing a massive campaign for COVID-19 prevention in three languages, and contacting the most vulnerable populations via cell phone on a daily basis to help identify and contain COVID-19 cases. Our Guatemala team meets with local Health District Directors to distribute personal protective equipment and COVID-19 health advocacy posters. The posters say, “Know It, Get Ready, and Act” – they are teaching the community how to prepare for the arrival of Coronavirus in their community. Coronavirus COVID-19 is most dangerous for the rural and under-resourced populations we serve in Guatemala. Many families have children and older adults suffering from chronic malnutrition. Proper hygiene is not possible due to a lack of access to water and living in small, crowded houses. What’s more – a respiratory disease becomes deadly to children under five in these areas where the main cause of death is pneumonia due to chronic malnutrition. Our Guatemala team is working hard to protect the most vulnerable and support the government’s efforts to contain the virus. We are proud to see our teams around the world partnering with local hospitals and the government, sharing resources to fight this virus together. “I deeply thank all the people who help us fight this Coronavirus,” said President Giammettei. “As a faith organization, we have faith that the Lord is providing protection and provision to Guatemala. We also continue encouraging the population we serve to remain obedient to the government measures around this pandemic. Now we have a battle, but with God, nothing is impossible.” said Walter Lopez, Medical Teams’ Guatemala Country Manager. Now more than ever, we need each other. We encourage you to find ways to support vulnerable families right now – here in the U.S. and around the world. We are all in this together – and we are all able to help. Support health workers on the frontlines of COVID-19 by giving here.