How our history helps
In the last decade World Vision has been in the frontline combatting the devastating and debilitating impact of Ebola in West Africa and DR Congo, the worldwide H1N1 pandemic, and Zika in Latin America. Globally, our teams have vast experience helping communities prepare and respond to virus outbreaks.
Thankfully, good can come from such tragedy. With each killer disease, agencies like ours have learned important lessons about epidemic response. Responding to the coronavirus is going to take the same kind of experience.
In China, where the outbreak started, we are helping to contain the virus that has already infected more than 80,000 people, and resulted in more than 3,000 deaths. We have distributed medical equipment to hospitals, delivered 400,000 facemasks and thousands of bottles of disinfectant and ensured 1,700 medical professionals have vital protective clothing. We’ve also provided 50,000 families with hygiene packs including hand sanitisers, soap, tissues and thermometers.
This is difficult, round-the-clock work. The vast majority of our staff members come from the communities where we work, so my colleagues aren’t just helping suffering strangers. Those men, women and children affected by disease outbreaks are often friends, neighbours, colleagues, and family.
Limiting the spread of coronavirus is critical because those who are already suffering from chronic health issues or who are elderly are especially at risk. The disease can cause severe respiratory symptoms and death, and there is still much to learn.