Across the globe, businesses, nonprofits, and philanthropic organizations are taking swift action to counter the potentially devastating social and economic effects of COVID-19. In the spirit of sharing #SomeGoodNews, we wanted to shine a spotlight on the incredible work of ten impact-driven partners who are finding innovative ways to fight the spread of the virus, strengthen healthcare systems, and mitigate the economic and health impact of COVID-19 on communities around the globe.
Shining Hope for Communities
SHOFCO has set up more than 100 handwashing stations in the slums of Nairobi, staffed with volunteers to help raise awareness, distribute bleach, homemade soap, and hand sanitizer, and clarify rumors and misinformation about the virus.
“In partnership with the government, ministry of health, and other locally based organizations, we are doing all we can to prevent the outbreak from decimating some of our most vulnerable communities,” writes SHOFCO Founder Kennedy Odede. “We know that if and when we face the full force of the virus, our fate is intertwined with one another, our city, and our nation as a whole. This is a fact that we will never forget.”
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria
“It is absolutely critical to take swift action, both to protect people now and to maintain lifesaving programs to fight HIV, TB and malaria,” says Peter Sands, Executive Director
of the Global Fund. “We face a monumental challenge, and we have to work together like never before. It is not only the right thing to do, it is also the smart thing to do. We must unite to fight.”
“Meeting the challenge of #COVID19 will require decisive action & true leadership from Africa’s leaders…as well as within communities. It will require equally decisive & rapid action from global leaders & global institutions.” – @PeterASands https://t.co/3ddpBlx17h
— The Global Fund (@GlobalFund) April 7, 2020
Additionally, the Global Fund announced a new response mechanism to support countries to respond to COVID-19 and mitigate the impact on programs to fight HIV, TB, malaria and systems for health, effectively doubling the amount of available funding to up to US$1 billion.
Norwegian Refugee Council
and hygiene promotion (WASH) programs in response to the coronavirus crisis. This includes equipping schools, community centers and aid distribution sites in several countries with handwashing facilities and soap.
“It is essential for health systems to be able to identify, track, and respond to an outbreak. We think about this in terms of diagnostics (labs, sample collections, and rapid point-of-care diagnostics) as well as surveillance systems,” says Dr. Linda Venczel, PATH’s Director of
Global Health Security. “When these systems are integrated, governments can share and analyze reliable data from clinical settings, laboratories where testing occurs, and emergency operations centers.”
LifeNet is taking a multi-stage approach to educate, equip, and empower health workers to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and effectively treat patients in their communities. In Stage 1, LifeNet is working to train on COVID-19 infection prevention, diagnosis, and proper treatment, strengthen the infection prevention controls of each health facility, provide handwashing stations, and support facilities to educate their communities on COVID-19.
Elton John AIDS Foundation
Applications for EJAF’s COVID-19 Emergency Fund are open until April 23, 2020 at 5:59 PM GMT and the organization is specifically looking for solutions that have strong potential to address specific challenges that have arisen for people already living with or at severe risk of HIV/AIDS and who are now at heightened risk as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Click here for more information on the application, timeline, and selection criteria for EJAF’s COVID-19 Emergency Fund.
Global Health Corps
“As the world scrambles to contain and mitigate the threat, the need for effective leadership and strong health systems is clearer than ever,” says Heather Anderson, CEO of Global Health Corps. “Guided by the unwavering belief that health is a human right, our 1,000+ bold leaders around the world are working hard every single day to meet urgent health needs and transform health systems over the long term.”
In Rwanda, these leaders are working to step up efforts to strengthen medical supply chains. In rural Uganda, they’re mobilizing community health workers. In Malawi, they’re advocating for strong government coordination and response.
As COVID-19 is forcing schools, universities, and educational programs around the world to rapidly shift from in-person to online learning, EdTech Center has launched a distance learning resource site to help education professionals rapidly scale-up or start distance education. The site includes a step-by-step guide to quickly get started with distance learning, a curated collection of useful resources posted in online forums, and weekly online strategy sessions.
Through Health Cloud, Salesforce is offering free access for qualified emergency response teams, call centers, and care management teams for health systems affected by coronavirus. Tableau, a Salesforce-owned data visualization software, has developed a free data resource hub to help organizations see and understand coronavirus data in near real-time, using case data compiled by Johns Hopkins University as well as data from the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Finally, Salesforce launched Salesforce Care to help businesses support and quickly respond to customers, employees, partners, and communities in this unprecedented time. Nearly 2,000 companies and organizations from 47 countries are using the Salesforce Care solutions, less than a week after rolling them out.
As for Vera, we will continue doing everything we can to support our clients and lend our excess capacity in supporting the response. If you have ideas for how we can help, please share them.