27th July 2020
Samaritan’s Purse continues to serve communities struggling during the global COVID-19 pandemic. Our latest coronavirus response is in the northeast African nation of Sudan. Samaritan’s Purse has a substantial history there and in South Sudan, strengthening local churches and providing physical relief to impoverished villages that have suffered from years of civil war and political unrest.
Sudan is reporting more than 11,000 cases of COVID-19 and at least 700 deaths, a significant total for a country with limited medical infrastructure and resources.
In partnership with the country’s Ministry of Health, Samaritan’s Purse is running a training center for frontline medical workers in order to bolster the national capacity to care for coronavirus patients. Our team of experienced medical professionals—many of whom have deployed with Samaritan’s Purse during other infectious disease responses—are set up in the parking lot of a hospital in Khartoum, the country’s capital.
Working out of classroom-style tents, we are teaching healthcare workers about Infection Prevention and Control (IPC). The training centre models the required IPC precautions that should be taken at any coronavirus isolation center. For example, participants are learning about effective hand-washing, isolation room design, patient and staff flow, and properly donning and doffing their personal protective equipment before entering and exiting the tents.
In addition to IPC, we’re also teaching about case management and intensive care. Our team anticipates training more than 400 doctors and nurses in the coming months.
Ann Galgano is an ICU nurse who has deployed numerous times with the Samaritan’s Purse Disaster Assistance Response Team. She said IPC trainings are necessary in the fight against COVID-19.
“Infection Prevention and Control measures are strategic in controlling the spread of the virus from person to person, from surface to person, and from person to surface.”
Ann has served with Samaritan’s Purse in an effort to control infectious disease outbreaks in Bangladesh (diphtheria), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Ebola), and, earlier this year, COVID-19 in Italy.
“The intense case management in the ICU of our respiratory care unit in Italy established a great framework and [provided] valuable first-hand experience in effective clinical management of patients in severe condition,” she said. “We aim to impart our experiences and our prudent guidelines to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in Sudan and to help save the lives of those affected.”
Nick Bechert, team lead for our Sudan response, asked for prayers as our staff continue this critical work in Khartoum: “Pray that God would bless and equip Samaritan’s Purse as we continue in our long history in Sudan of loving our neighbours here in need.”
Please also pray for the nation of Sudan. Although welcomed changes have come to the country, it remains a tenuous place. In early 2019, Sudan ousted its longtime leader Omar al-Bashir from power and began the hard work of establishing a new government that would protect and provide for all citizens. Earlier this month, Sudan legislature reportedly repealed the death penalty for those who denounce Islam, paving the way for more religious freedom in Sudan.