As Executive Director of Partner for Surgery, Guatemala, I stand with all whose health has been directly or indirectly affected by COVID-19 and the brave heroes of the healthcare system. At the same time, I would like to let you know how we have adjusted to the government pandemic restrictions and probable cancellation of all surgical teams for the rest of the year.
Our current focus is to ensure our Cleft Infant Nutrition Program can continue providing child monitoring, formula, and other supplies to the increasing number of participating families. Unfortunately, many of these same families have lost their employment and now are in pressing need of food, so we are providing some essential items and working with other organizations and partners for additional assistance. Fortunately, we have been able to obtain waivers to the travel restrictions so that our health promoters can continue to visit, deliver supplies, and provide education to the families on virus prevention through masks, hand washing, and social distancing. Like many other organizations, we have furloughed some staff, but are maintaining those needed to restart missions whenever possible.
As of June 28th, there were 17,409 recorded cases, 13,491 are active, and 3,170 have recovered. Sadly, 746 Guatemalans have died of COVID-19 and two from other diagnoses. Given the lack of government health services in rural communities, the actual numbers are undoubtedly much higher. We are incredibly appreciative of your continued assistance because, without you, our mission would not survive.
Lastly, I am forever grateful and inspired by the commitment, resilience, and dedication of our Health Promoters and staff who have shown up and take additional steps to stay true to helping the most vulnerable in Guatemala.
Executive Director in Guatemala