Everything you need to know about how we are responding as an organization to COVID-19 and how you can help.
Whether you are involuntary or self-quarantine; able-bodied, active, and wanting to help your community; or an organization looking for a way to help your members, the Get-Support tool is built for you.
WHI has partnered with Disaster Tech to design, build, and power this tool that will help us help each other safely, securely, and simply.
Learn more about the Get-Support tool and how to use it! You’ll find a user guide, video demos, FAQs, and more.
Sanitation Saves Lives
Although a lot of unknowns still surround the novel coronavirus, there’s no question that sanitation is a key to stopping its spread. This and other infectious diseases are one of the reasons that World Hope works to train communities in proper sanitation and to provide clean water for washing.
What can you do to help?
- Wash your hands frequently, get between the fingers, and for at least 20 seconds at a time
- Avoid touching your face
- Share these public safety announcements on social media & spread the word, not the illness
If the outbreak of the COVID-19 shows us just one thing, it’s that something as basic as access to clean water saves lives. This is one of the reasons we work to make clean water accessible, whether that is by drilling wells, piping clean water straight to homes, or launching solar-powered water desalination systems.
What you can do?
- Drink lots of water to help prevent getting sick or to get better sooner
- Continue to support efforts of organizations around the world working to provide communities with access to clean water in the first place.
- Make a gift today to help us respond when and where it matters
Commitment to our staff, volunteers, and the communities we serve
We are committed to ensuring the health and wellbeing of our staff as well as the vulnerable communities we serve. As such, we have issued company guidance that
- Suspends employee business travel to or through mainland China, Iran, South Korea, Italy, Japan, and Hong Kong.
- Recommends individual discretion and monitoring of CDC travel notices for any travel to regions outside of mainland China, Iran, South Korea, Italy, Japan, and Hong Kong.
- Ensures that volunteer teams who are traveling with WHI are aware and coached on WHO travel guidance and that we are monitoring all volunteer trips to ensure that team members are not being put in a place of unnecessary risk.
- Requires any travelers returning from business or who have traveled to mainland China, Iran, South Korea, Italy, Japan, or Hong Kong in the last 15 days to work remotely for a period of 16 days from their date of return and, due to the rapidly changing environment, if staff have visited or live in any future exposure location, to self-quarantine at home and notify the WHI office.
WASH in Health Care Facilities
According to the World Health Organization, roughly one in four health facilities globally lack basic water services. Water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services are critical to a functioning health system and unfortunately, the lack of these basics in health facilities leads to poor-quality care and an increased chance of infection for patients and health workers.
That’s why World Hope made a commitment in June 2019 to improve WASH in healthcare facilities in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Haiti, and Cambodia.
During Ebola, WHI provided water wells to 25 health care units, including CCCs, Ebola holding and treatment centers across Sierra Leone, with support from DEERF. WHI was also involved in providing water sources to high-risk villages under quarantine that need continuous access to water for proper sanitation facilities
Clean Water, Sanitation, & Hygiene
World Hope has been committed to drilling clean water wells since 2004 – in communities, schools, hospitals, and other public institutions that lack a clean and sustainable water source. Local leaders are trained to maintain the water source long after the drilling is done.
We also tap clean water directly to homes through our TapEfffect project in Cambodia and are launching a solar-powered water desalination system in Haiti in March 2020. Water from that system will also supply the local hospital.
Community Health Workers
In partnership with UNICEF and the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, WHI has trained and managed more than 1,000 Community Health Workers in hard-to-reach communities in Sierra Leone
Community Health Worker (CHW) programs have emerged as one of the most effective ways to address health disparities and provide primary health care in developing countries. CHWs are trusted members of their communities who volunteer their time to serve their towns and villages.
CHWs are native to the communities they work in and are well-respected by community members. They have the advanced knowledge and skills necessary to promote positive health outcomes in their communities, yet they can do so at a basic level and in the local languages, which allows community members to understand and relate.
Community Care Centers
The concept of the Community Care Centers (CCC), small facilities to isolate probable cases, was to bring the service closer to the communities where people showing the signs and symptoms of Ebola can be quickly moved so that they do not further transmit the virus within their households and communities.
These CCCs provide basic supportive and palliative care for the patients in an environment accessible to members of their family and their respective communities.
In conjunction with the District Health Management Team (DHMT) and UNICEF, WHI participated in intensive trainings for 240 health workers in Infection Prevention Control (IPC), maintained ongoing support and training in IPC, provided nutrition, trained and supported child advocates, and supported DHMT in the daily running and monitoring of the staff in 15 CCCs in Bombali District on afrequent basis for a period of nine months.
WHI also designed and implemented the retrofitting of Makeni Paramedical School to a holding center for Suspected Ebola Cases with correct IPC measures which allowed staff to provide safe care and minimize spread of disease. Later WHI transformed this same setting into a Guest Quarantine Facility when need decreased for holding center after ETU opened.
Funded by DFID, WHI developed and later implemented concepts to restructure and improve Kamakwie Wesleyan Hospital and the maternity ward of Makeni Regional Government Hospital during the Ebola crisis as well as their water and sanitation facilities to ensure IPC procedures could be followed effectively.
WHI also held a series of workshops in Bombali and Koinadugu District along the border of the Republic of Guinea for 367 Sierra Leonean and Guinean border officials and local leaders to sensitize them on the transmission of EVD, to develop strategies to identify and prevent sick travellers from crossing the borders and thus control the transmission of the disease. WHI also provided hand-washing stations, infrared thermometers and cleaning supplies as part of the training.
As Dr. Chris Walzer, executive director of the Wildlife Conservation Society Global Health Program said, “Preventing future zoonotic outbreaks is not about targeting one species – like pangolins, bats, and snakes – but taking strong actions to ban wet markets trading in wildlife and broadly strengthening wildlife laws and regulations.”
It is important to not only revise wildlife protection laws but to work alongside vulnerable communities to end indiscriminate hunting and consumption of wild animals and have to build a healthier relationship with the wildlife surrounding us.
That is exactly what WHI’s Jahoo Gibbon Camp is addressing, and conservation efforts like this should not be overlooked in their capacity to minimize the risk of novel coronaviruses like COVID-19, SARS, and MERS.
Clean Energy for Hospitals
The ability of hospitals to have the power to run is vital – especially during times of disease outbreak when capacity is already stretched and need is extreme. That’s why World Hope is working to provide the only hospital on LaGonâve, Haiti, with solar power using Tesla wall units, which are highly effective and virtually maintenance-free. These improvements will enable the hospital to finally achieve energy independence for at least the next 10 years and, with the generator (currently operating at least 50% of every day when fuel is available) being relegated to actual emergency-use only, the carbon footprint of the hospital will be virtually eliminated.
In the course of the Ebola outbreak, WHI received eleven containers with medical supplies, equipment, and medication that were distributed to both private and government health units, including hospitals, clinics, and PHUs. WHI also regularly works to ensure rural hospitals and clinics in Haiti and Sierra Leone have sufficient, necessary provisions.
WHI in Action
In addition to addressing easily preventable illnesses, WHI tackles the prevention and control of major disease outbreaks – whether that comes in the form of responding to disasters in order to prevent the outbreak of cholera; being first responders to the Ebola outbreak, or working within communities using social behavior change communication strategies to manage and mitigate disease outbreaks in the aftermath.
Responding to disease outbreaks can not only include initial action but addressing the often devastating economic and psychological impact in the aftermath for years to come.
Devastating diseases can break out across the world any time, as evidenced by the 2014 Ebola crisis, and as COVID-19 shows us, they can rapidly spread across the globe and slip unobserved across barriers and borders.
WHI was on the ground actively responding throughout the duration of the Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone – and we are prepared to respond again to the novel Coronavirus should it break out – whether that looks like training healthcare workers, increasing the capacity of local health systems, setting up isolation units to help with burials, delivering food, providing shunned survivor care, or more.
AN ORGANIZATION YOU CAN TRUST.
Spending of World Hope International (Canada) funds is confined to Board approved projects. Funds designated towards a project are used as designated, with the understanding that when the need for that project has been met or cannot be completed for reasons determined by the Board, the remaining funds designated will be used where needed most.