During the COVID-19 crisis, when life can feel stressful and out of control, you have the power to protect yourself, your family and your community from some of the worst diseases on the planet.
As the world waits for a COVID-19 vaccine, it is important to remember that vaccinations can prevent more than 20 other life-threatening diseases such as polio, tetanus, diphtheria, measles, whooping cough, cancers caused by HPV, pneumonia, meningitis, shingles and more.
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.
COVID-19, climate change, neglected tropical diseases, recently released health education modules and videos on our work, a new smartphone app — these are all topics of recent stories posted on WiRED International’s website.
“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.
Managing stress during the COVID-19 pandemic is no easy task, especially when cooped up inside. The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs’ (VA) National Center for PTSD has posted a useful guide to handling the pressure as well as offering a downloadable handout. The following are excerpts from the VA’s steps to reduce anxiety.