Medical Teams International: Responding in Crisis
Amid the hour-to-hour change and uncertainty over the past few weeks, we have all been uplifted and moved by the passionate healthcare community working tirelessly to combat Covid-19 and save lives; many putting themselves at risk every day.
It has been a privilege for our team to get an up-close look at a global health organization moving swiftly, adapting and responding to this crisis in a meaningful way. In these uncertain times, we are reminded why we do the work that we do. It is an honor to partner with organizations that are having global impact. Our client Medical Teams International has been responding to international crises for decades. Before Covid-19, they worked in Liberia to combat Ebola, and are continuously working in countries around the world to address needs in refugee communities, disaster zones, and other crises. We are grateful for their agile and generous response to the outbreak in our local community and around the globe.
With the nation-wide stay-at-home order, their headquarters staff abruptly transitioned to remote work, like many others around the world. This change has not kept them from addressing the urgent public health crisis with a coordinated, impactful strategy. As with many organizations, the quick transition was unexpected, but Medical Teams has taken proactive measures with resolve and leadership. As a global health organization, they fully understand that the stay-at-home measures are taken for the common good, and have continued moving their mission forward with full force in this critical time.
Medical Teams’ immediate local response was to donate their supply of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) to local hospitals for immediate use due to severe shortages. They donated 2,500 gowns, 38,600 masks, 20,600 gloves, and 6,400 safety glasses.
They are also working to support the local health system by providing emergency dental care clinics to avoid extra burdens on hospital emergency rooms. In particular, they are serving especially at-risk populations like those experiencing houselessness.
Soon after the pandemic began to spread in the Pacific Northwest, they converted one of their mobile dental vans to operate as a support center for a COVID-19 screening site. Medical Teams also has a large group of trained medical volunteers that are ready to be mobilized if needed.
As the virus spreads to vulnerable communities around the globe, Medical Teams is working with field staff to ensure proper WHO and CDC training on preventing the spread in areas particularly at risk such as refugee camps and remote locations. The virus will hit dense and vulnerable refugee camps particularly hard, and Medical Teams will be aiding this crisis on the ground in those regions.
As an organization whose mission is to address crises like this, Medical Teams is providing a model of proactive response during this time of uncertainty. We are grateful for their example, the global impact they have every day, but especially in such a time as this. It is characteristics like generosity and adaptability that attract us to clients like Medical Teams. It is a privilege to come alongside their team and help them increase the impact of the work they do every day.