“We heard today it is in the Democratic Republic of Congo and in Kenya, so we worry it will come to Uganda next. Many people in the community are saying – we are all going to die. But most of us are saying – maybe we will get sick – but first we will work. We will serve others as long as we can.”
- Adara Uganda Country Director, Daniel Kabugo.
The courage of our teams on the ground and the communities in need who are facing this crisis makes us proud beyond measure to be part of Adara and determined to do our best work as we stand with them.
Like many of you, we have been alarmed to see the spread of COVID-19. It is clear that we are in the grip of a global challenge unlike anything we have witnessed over the last few decades. These challenges do not respect national boundaries and hit the poorest and most vulnerable the hardest.
In a time when social distancing has become the norm, let us not forget that we need to forge deeper connections with our hearts and reach out to those most in need, at home and abroad. COVID-19 touches each and every one of us and shows just how connected we really are. Please reach out and support these vulnerable communities when they need it the most.
COVID-19 has the potential to devastate the developing world if they are not prepared. Current modelling of the virus cannot be used to predict how it will devastate many places in the world where there are not high functioning and resourced health systems that can respond to a highly infectious disease, and where the population suffers from conditions such as malnutrition or HIV.
We believe that now, more than ever, we must reach across divides and stand by these communities to keep them safe. In the words of our founder, Audette Exel AO in a video we recently released, “it’s time to build bridges not throw walls up.”
From the tiny babies and their mums in the neonatal unit of Kiwoko Hospital, Uganda to the children of Nepal – we need to ensure the communities we work with are safe and prepared.
Our response to this pandemic hinges on three guiding principles:
i. Keep Adara employees, our partners and communities safe
ii. Continue to run our programme work at the highest standards
iii. Provide all support necessary, including doing our part to slow community spread of the virus where outbreaks appear, so that the most vulnerable people can get the care they need
We have worked through many local, national and global crises. We know that health support and education is vital in the fight against the spread of COVID-19, but we cannot do this alone.
The support of our donors and partners will not only help to keep our essential health and educational work operational during this time but will also help to:
• Support Adara’s maternal, newborn and child health team in Uganda to continue to save the lives of premature babies and their mothers during this time of extreme crisis. This includes midwives, nurses and community health workers – all vital in the fight for survival.
• Support children at 16 schools, and their families and communities, in some of the most remote areas of Nepal to ensure they are prepared when disaster hits.
• Educate patients and support staff at Kiwoko Hospital, Uganda on how to keep safe. This is vitally important for vulnerable groups such as pregnant women and HIV/AIDS patients, who are severely immunocompromised.
• Work with health posts in remote regions of Nepal on preparedness to make sure they have infection control procedures in place to provide care safely to affected patients.
• Provide training to community health workers in Uganda so they can educate the wider community on signs, symptoms, hygiene promotion and dispel dangerous myths.
• Ensure young people in Nepal have access to soap and other much needed supplies, including at least 14 days’ food, essential drugs and cooking gas.
Over the last 22 years, we have provided health and education services to hundreds of thousands of people living in poverty in some of the world’s remotest places. We fund a team – of Adara staff and others through our amazing community partners – of more than 200. This includes health workers, educators, development specialists, researchers and social workers. We have built centres of excellence in maternal, newborn and child health, and remote schooling that have a local, national and global impact. We have put more $45 million to work – including $15 million from our businesses – to support people in poverty.
We are most needed during this critical time of health and economic crisis. We need to ensure we can support our teams and the teams of our partners to continue this vital health, education and infrastructure work. As well as this, it is more important than ever that we are able to provide community support through the nurses, midwives, community health workers and educators who are all part of the Adara family.
During this difficult time, we will see greatness as people keep their hearts open to our neighbours across the globe. Thank you from the bottom our hearts from all the Adara family.