COVID-19 News and Updates

OneWorld Health (OWH) remains 100% committed to its mission of providing quality, affordable care to communities in need during the COVID-19 pandemic. OWH has worked tirelessly over the past 30 days to develop a robust response plan within East Africa and Central America. We are well positioned to respond in a meaningful way in Nicaragua, Uganda and Honduras due to our operationally sustainable model. This model has always included staffing, sourcing supplies and creating partnerships at the local level. This expertise will be critical as we work to ensure updated best practices are used to care for our brothers and sisters in these underserved communities.

Uganda, Nicaragua and Honduras have all confirmed their first cases of COVID-19. These countries have fragile healthcare systems that are likely to be devastated by the disease. There is already a lack of access to life-saving equipment, and the strain on this system is only set to increase. Our work fortifies these systems by remaining open, providing quality, affordable healthcare and employing skilled medical professionals in the communities that we serve. While many other NGOs are forced to close as ex-pats are recalled, our local staff remains. Please continue to check back to this page for further updates.

 

NICARAGUA

Nicaragua is currently reporting more than 750 confirmed cases of COVID-19, though widespread testing is not available. OWH operates 7 urgent care facilities and 1 mobile medical unit in Nicaragua and is closely monitoring all facilities to ensure staff and patient safety. The OWH network serves a diverse population of the rural and urban poor in 7 communities throughout the country. Our staff of nearly 100 Nicaraguan clinical and administrative professionals provide care to more than 50,000 patients on an annual basis.

HONDURAS

OWH began scaling its efforts into Honduras in partnership with Serve Hope International in 2019. Honduras has reported over 5,000 cases since the start of the pandemic. The people of Honduras have been greatly impacted by COVID-19. The fragility of the Honduran economy and public health system is becoming evident during this pandemic. The government instituted a strict national lock-down policy on March 16th, 2020 bringing the national economy to a halt. OWH is working with its partners to serve the Siguatepeque-area population in this time of need.

UGANDA

Uganda has over 250 confirmed cases of COVID-19. The government is beginning to ease strict lockdown regulations, including the opening of some non-essential businesses. Public and private transportation will remain prohibited. OWH operates 1 hospital and 3 urgent care facilities in Uganda. The OWH network serves a population of nearly 1,000,000 people and has become a salient part of the healthcare system in Uganda. Our staff of 100 Ugandan clinical and administrative professionals provide care to more than 50,000 patients on an annual basis.

The daily healthcare needs of our patients will not wait for this pandemic to pass, as such, we have prepared to continue serving our patient population with modifications to patient flow for safety, while simultaneously preparing to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 Response Plan

The OneWorld Health team is working to implement a response to the spread of COVID-19 in East Africa and Central America. Our strategy is similar across the board, with localization occurring on a country and facility basis.

Patient Support Fund

  • Introduce a fund to support patients who cannot afford care under the current circumstances
  • Allow facility-based staff to work with patients to establish a manageable rate

Isolation Ward and Equipment

  • Convert space for isolation ward
  • Procure 32 new inpatient beds and 12 new oxygen concentrators
  • Hire additional staff for necessary response

Tele-Health Platform

  • Create regional Tele-Health Program compatible with mobile phones accessible to the population
  • Offer free access to on-call physician (24/7) to respond to any health concern related to COVID-19 symptoms
  • Personalize next steps and treatment plan to ensure safe social distancing and proper referral protocol for symptomatic patients

Staff Preparation

  • Supply Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including gowns, gloves, and masks
  • Acquire key medications as supply chain tightens
  • Offer Continuing Medical Education (CME) to keep all clinical staff updated on COVID-19 protocols
  • Develop a virtual training platform for international support
  • Provide training to Uganda’s Ministry of Health, the World Health Organization, the Center for Disease Control and the National Institute of Health and regional leadership to develop and fine tune COVID-19 response plans

At-risk Patient Protection

  • Create off site clinics for HIV treatment
  • Offer off site clinic space for elderly and immunocompromised patients

Public Health and Partnership Initiatives

  • Disseminate public health information in coordination with the Ministry of Health
  • Partner with NGO and Ministry of Health programs to coordinate response and connect care to vulnerable populations
  • Expand corporate partner programs to ensure companies can access information and care for their staff