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.
It’s World Immunization Week. Yet, the World Health Organization (WHO) reports that even before COVID-19 emerged, millions of people — particularly children- across the globe were left unprotected against preventable diseases. Today, the turmoil stirred by the coronavirus pandemic is creating a health crisis more catastrophic than COVID-19 itself.
“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.
Adding to the mounting problems imposed by the coronavirus crisis is the stress it causes on people around the world who face the emergency quietly, holed up in their homes, often separated from family and friends.
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.
As the spread of the new coronavirus headlines the news this month, February is also a busy month for health observances. WiRED International provides training modules and, in some cases, special series for February health occasions. Some of these relevant modules have been translated into languages such as Arabic, Chinese, French, Portuguese and Spanish.