(Portland, OR) JUNE 10, 2020— Medical Teams International is pleased to announce that it has been awarded $200,000 for its international COVID-19 response from the Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP). The funds will be used to support Medical Teams’ prevention and response work among refugee populations in Uganda, Bangladesh, and Tanzania.
The threat of COVID-19 is particularly dangerous for people living in refugee camps and informal settlements, given crowded living conditions, inadequate sanitation facilities, and poor underlying health. Medical Teams and world health authorities believe that the potential outbreak of COVID-19 among refugee populations is of high risk and could have a potentially devastating impact. The CDP grant to Medical Teams will be used in the following countries:
Medical Teams, as UNHCR’s leading health partner in Uganda, is responsible for the care of more than one million people in nine districts. Through its programs, refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, and South Sudan, as well as host nationals, receive life-saving health care services, such as medical support for malnutrition, child and maternal health programs, medical screenings, and more. The CDP funds to Medical Teams for Uganda will be used to:
- Improve health facilities to enhance infection prevention controls and enable social distancing
- Procure key supplies, such as PPE, essential medicines, and lab testing materials
- Provide internet connectivity, airtime, and printing costs for quick and effective communications
- Provide fuel and travel costs for monitoring and supervision trips to improve practices and preparedness throughout the Ugandan health system.
Medical Teams, in partnership with Food for the Hungry, serves more than 107,000 refugees (mostly Rohingya) in Kutupalong, the largest refugee camp in the world. The two organizations operate the Joint Rohingya Response Program, providing basic primary health care services, nutrition screening and support, and an extensive Community Health Worker (CHW) network. In response to COVID-19, Medical Teams has converted one of its health facilities in Kutupalong into a 50-bed isolation and treatment center. It is also sending PPE for staff and volunteers, is recruiting and training staff on clinical management of COVID-19, and is training its CHW network on prevention, case identification, and referral. The CDP funds to Medical Teams for Bangladesh will be used to:
- Improve primary health facilities and health posts to enhance infection prevention controls and enable social distancing
- Procure key supplies, especially PPE, to support COVID-19 mitigation efforts
- Obtain printing for COVID-19 educational materials and treatment protocols
Medical Teams partners with the Tanzania Red Cross (TRCS) to provide primary health services in two refugee camps near the Burundi border in northwest Tanzania, serving roughly 187,000 refugees and host nationals. Approximately 90 Medical Teams CHWs and 200 TCRS CHWs are increasing public awareness of COVID-19 and promoting health messages. CHWs are being trained to identify symptoms and provide referrals for treatment. They are also conducting disease surveillance in the camps and providing contact tracing as cases are identified. The CDP funds to Medical Teams for Tanzania will be used to:
- Enable improved protocols and technical training for screening and referral of cases of COVID-19, particularly in pregnant women
- Provide training and health promotional materials for CHWs
- Procure PPE, specifically appropriate face masks
About Medical Teams International
Founded in 1979, Medical Teams International provides life-saving medical care for people in crisis, such as survivors of natural disasters and refugees. We care for the whole person— physical, emotional, social and spiritual. Daring to love like Jesus, we serve all people—regardless of religion, nationality, sex or race. Because every person—no matter where they are or how desperate their situation—matters. Learn more at medicalteams.org and on social media using @medicalteams. For more information and donations for Medical Teams’ work on COVID-19, please visit https://www.medicalteams.org/how-we-heal/natural-disasters/covid-19-response/
About the Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP)
The Center for Disaster Philanthropy’s mission is to transform disaster giving by providing timely and thoughtful strategies to increase donors’ impact during domestic and international disasters. In the face of intensifying natural disasters and worsening humanitarian crises, CDP also works to raise awareness of the urgent need to support the full life cycle of disasters, from mitigation and preparedness to long-term recovery and resilience, particularly among vulnerable populations. For more information, visit: http://disasterphilanthropy.org, call (202) 464-2018 or tweet @funds4disaster.