We are committed to ending preventable death and disease in sub-Saharan Africa. To that end, LifeNet will swiftly act to educate, equip, and empower health workers to fight the spread of COVID-19 and effectively treat patients in their communities.
As a result, we anticipate:
Vulnerable and underserved people in sub-Saharan Africa face some of the most dire healthcare realities in the world. Infectious diseases often disproportionately affect the poor worldwide.
In normal times, poor-quality healthcare services in Africa contribute to low life expectancies; high rates of maternal, child and infant mortality; and widespread death and disease. In times of pandemic, these negative outcomes grow exponentially.
It is expected that due to poor-quality healthcare, limited medical knowledge, and a lack of equipment, COVID-19 will sicken and kill a devastating number of people in sub-Saharan Africa.
In response to COVID-19, LifeNet International is dedicated to saving and improving lives in the region by improving healthcare at the local, faith-based facilities where the most underserved patients often receive care. With a focus on vulnerable populations, including women and children under 5, we ensure health workers have the knowledge and tools they need to effectively diagnose, treat, and save lives with compassion and confidence.
LifeNet International is uniquely positioned at this moment to have an immediate and lasting impact on healthcare facilities that will very soon be treating thousands of COVID-19 patients.
Our network—comprising 220 faith-based health facilities in DR Congo, Burundi, Malawi, and Uganda—registers over 2.5 million patient visits a year in a catchment area of nearly 5 million vulnerable people.
On average, LifeNet’s training and support doubles the quality of care provided at these facilities at a programming cost of just $1 per patient visit. We do this by training health workers and facility managers in best practices and by ensuring good access to and management of supplies of medicines and equipment.
As COVID-19 is poised to devastate Africa in the coming weeks and months, LifeNet is equally poised to save lives by training, equipping, and supporting frontline healthcare workers in these 220 healthcare facilities to safely and efficiently provide high-quality medical care to all patients that arrive at their doors with COVID-19 symptoms.
LifeNet’s experience in Ebola readiness in the region, years of effective infection prevention training, support of health facilities to educate their communities, and expertise in health worker education primes the organization for a quick and comprehensive response to COVID-19.
We are currently doing and will continue to do the following:
We expect in-country travel in the region to be significantly limited. We remain committed to training and supporting frontline health workers, even those who are hard to reach. To that end, we will:
Personal protective equipment (PPE) is key for the safety of frontline health workers and infection prevention. To equip those who most need protection in order to save lives in their communities, we are purchasing PPE for all of our current partner facilities.
The spread of COVID-19 in sub-Saharan Africa is expected to devastate the region with disease and death. A unified, regional response is required to:
LifeNet is well positioned as a conduit for COVID-19 interventions in the region. We have the capability and capacity to expand our reach, both through digital communication and distance learning, and as an advisor to other health systems, specifically for health facilities.
To that end, we propose to:
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