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THEnet schools on the frontlines of Covid19

March 26, 2020
Björg Pálsdóttir

These are extraordinary times for all of us demonstrating how closely all our fates are linked. Our natural response during a crisis is to think first of our own families, communities, and the countries we live in. However, whether we like it or not, our health depends on how all of us around the world respond to health threats. This is why investing in global health and strengthening health systems around the world has to be a priority and global solidarity is paramount.

Like their peers around the world, health professionals working at member institutions of the Training Health Equity Network (THEnet) are putting their lives on the line to save others. THEnet, a global collaborative of health professional education institutions is partnering to transform the way health professionals are educated to reverse the shortage and improve the skills of health workers in communities with the greatest needs.

In normal times, THEnet partner institutions provide education, training, and health services to communities with the greatest needs and many of their graduates choose careers in underserved areas and are therefore staffing the frontlines of both prevention, primary care, and epidemic response. Today, many of our colleagues are shifting their focus from educating health professionals to getting ready to serve a tidal wave of people with symptoms of coronavirus. Many of them do not have proper personal protective gear and have limited resources to care for their patients. They are already working in difficult conditions and are facing a crisis of potentially epic proportion as the pandemic reaches the marginalized rural and urban communities they serve. To give you a glimpse into their reality, I’m sharing a recent email I received from Dr. Fortunato Cristobal, the Dean of our member school Ateneo de Zamboanga University School of Medicine (ADZU) located on the island of Mindanao in the #Philippines.
We know health workers everywhere are struggling to get the equipment they need. However, we hope all of us can look beyond our own challenges and not forget those who serve the world’s most marginalized communities. This is why during this crisis THEnet is raising funds to support our colleagues working in underserved communities in the Philippines, Sudan, Nepal, Malawi, South Africa and elsewhere so they can at least procure personal protective gear and life-saving equipment. Please join us by clicking on the Donate button on our website.
Stay safe and healthy and thank you!
Björg
#globalhealth #WeAreInThisTogether #coronavirus #rural #urban #healthequity

Letter from Dr. Cristobal the Dean of Ateneo de Zamboanga School of Medicine in Mindanao, the Philippines