Myths about COVID-19 continue to circulate around the Internet. Misinformation ranges from the laughable (the virus arrived from outer space!) to the dangerous (hydroxychloroquine or bleach cure the virus). Conspiracy theories suggest that Greta Thunberg caused COVID-19 to help with climate change or that hand sanitizer companies invented the virus as a marketing scheme.
The spread of the COVID-19 pandemic to Kisumu, Kenya, is placing a heavy burden on a population already suffering routinely from disease and lack of basic health care. If that weren’t enough, since early 2020, East Africa has experienced unprecedented waves of locust swarms — a crisis linked to climate change — which has destroyed livestock and crops and threatens to worsen food scarcity.
The New York Times reports that while the COVID-19 pandemic is lessening in many of the countries hit early in 2020, new hot spots in Latin America, Asia and the Middle East are causing a record rise in the number of first-time cases of the virus.
Despite early action by the Peruvian government, COVID-19 continues to devastate the nation. Once in Lima, the virus rapidly spread to the city of Iquitos and from that gateway to remote villages along the Amazon, an area where WiRED’s partner, Project Amazonas (PA), provides medical services. Working with PA, WiRED provides health education and other IT resources, including an electronic patient record system that runs entirely off the grid; patient data collected in remote regions can be uploaded to country-level data programs for aggregation and analysis.
Due to dramatic advances in transportation, a viral outbreak that began halfway around the world now assaults our entire country. It is sickening and killing even people in small towns like Odon, Indiana. That’s where my 91-year-old brother is confined to a small room in an assisted living facility. He’s recuperating from hip surgery and isolated to hopefully avoid contracting the deadly virus.
“The coronavirus has crushed healthcare systems around the world. And it’s especially cruel in the poorest regions, where there are fewer than one doctor for 20,000 people. In these places, officials are calling on community health workers to help the sick and teach people how to avoid contracting the virus…”
These opening words of WiRED International’s just released video go on to tell the story of WiRED’S Community Health Worker (CHW) Training Program. The program includes health communication, community health instruction, health surveillance and continuing education. This video showcases photos taken all over the world in the low-resource communities where WiRED has distributed its free health training material for almost 25 years.
Today COVID-19 dominates the world health stage, but equally deadly neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) affect more than one billion people in many countries where WiRED International distributes its health training material.
All over the world, WiRED International’s COVID-19 Module Series is providing free-access education about the virus and related topics to organizations, schools, students and healthcare professionals.
In response to the growing pandemic, the WiRED–Armenia team conducted two health learning sessions this month using WiRED’s Coronavirus Module — now available in the Armenian language.
Two years ago, WiRED made it easy for millions of people using Mac and Windows to download our health training modules — for free. Our innovative Health Module Access Program has just added an app for Android users opening HealthMAP to millions more, allowing free module downloads to smart phones, tablets and laptops.
The WiRED International team completed the first field test of our Community Health Worker (CHW) Training Program this week in Kisumu, Kenya. More than two years in the making, WiRED Executive Director Gary Selnow, Ph.D., said, “The comprehensive content and the delivery aspects of this basic community health worker training program make it the first of its kind anywhere in the world.”