10 Organizations Tackling COVID-19 in Innovative Ways

SHOFCO handwashing station in response to COVID-19

Posted on 14th April 2020

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

When a global health crisis hits, impoverished urban communities can be hit even harder due to limited resources and disparities in healthcare access. When the first coronavirus cases were confirmed in Kenya, Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO) was already taking proactive measures to fight the spread and protect the health and wellbeing of the community members it serves.

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.”
Donate to help SHOFCO take action against COVID-19.

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria

As the largest multilateral provider of grants to strengthen systems for health, the Global Fund is working closely with WHO and other global health partners to strengthen the international response to COVID-19.

“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.”

To mitigate the impact the COVID-19 pandemic will have on programs to fight HIV, TB and malaria, the Global Fund is enabling countries to use up to 5% of approved grant funding – approximately US$500 million – to help protect and treat vulnerable communities around the world. As of today, nearly US$64 million has been approved across 54 countries and two regional grants.

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.
Read more about the Global Fund’s COVID-19 response here.

Norwegian Refugee Council

In an alarming op-ed, UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore warns that time is running out to protect refugees from a devastating crisis: “Even without a pandemic, uprooted people – those living as refugees, migrants or internally displaced due to conflict, natural disaster or extreme poverty – face immense barriers to accessing healthcare and preventive services like proper handwashing and sanitation facilities.”
Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), an independent humanitarian organization helping displaced people in more than 30 countries, is working to scale up global water, sanitation
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.
Click here to support NRC’s coronavirus response.

PATH

PATH is a global organization that works to accelerate health equity by bringing together public institutions, businesses, social enterprises, and investors to develop and scale solutions— including vaccines, drugs, devices, diagnostics, and innovative approaches to strengthening health systems worldwide. For the COVID-19 pandemic, PATH’s experts are partnering with governments to establish emergency operations centers, advise on testing, treating, and managing the outbreak, and strengthen digital and data systems that support real-time disease surveillance.

“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.”
Donate to PATH’s COVID-19 Response Fund today.

LifeNet International

LifeNet International LifeNet is taking a multi-stage approach to fight COVID
LifeNet International works with 220 faith-based health facilities in Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Malawi, and Uganda to help end preventable death and disease in sub-Saharan Africa.

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.
Donate now to help LifeNet equip frontline healthcare workers to save lives.

Elton John AIDS Foundation

Last week, the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) announced the launch of a $1 million COVID-19 Emergency Fund. “For almost 30 years, my foundation has prioritized the most vulnerable people to HIV to end the AIDS epidemic, and we’re committed to this during the COVID-19 crisis, too,” says EJAF Founder Sir Elton John. “Our new COVID-19 Emergency Fund will help frontline partners to prepare for and respond to the pandemic and its effects on HIV prevention and care for the most marginalized communities.”



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

Global Health Corps is a leadership development organization devoted to recruiting and training emerging leaders to strengthen health systems and improve health outcomes in impoverished communities.

“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.
Click here to donate to Global Health Corps’ movement for global health equity.

World YMCA

Coordinating the efforts of YMCAs across 120 countries, World YMCA recently launched an online COVID-19 YMCA Response Hub, highlighting the local efforts from prevention campaigns in Bangladesh and Senegal to distributing food and basic goods in the U.S. and Palestine to running online education programs in Kosovo and Italy.
The YMCAs of Greater Kalamazoo and Sherman Lake in Michigan, United States join forces to provide 1,000 meals per day to vulnerable families
The YMCAs of Greater Kalamazoo and Sherman Lake in Michigan, United States join forces to provide 1,000 meals per day to vulnerable families
Click here to follow YMCA COVID-19 Response stories.

World Education

World Education’s EdTech Center was launched in 2015 to support educators in integrating technology into instruction and program delivery to accelerate learning, digital literacy, and college and career readiness.

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.
Learn more about EdTech Center by visiting edtech.worlded.org.

Salesforce

Over the years, we’ve worked with hundreds of organizations — including those highlighted above — to help them use Salesforce to collect, manage, and analyze data in order to make critical decisions about their programs quickly and confidently. Therefore, we’d be remiss not to mention how Salesforce itself is stepping up to help during COVID-19.

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.
Learn more about Salesforce’s COVID-19 offerings here.
We are inspired by the work of these organizations to fight the spread of the virus, strengthen healthcare systems, and mitigate the economic and health impact of COVID-19. This pandemic is certainly testing all of us, and it’s incredible to see how our clients around the world are rising to the occasion and finding innovative ways to make a difference.

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.

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