NASSAU, BAHAMS – While several international NGOs have returned to their home country amidst the coronavirus pandemic, the few that remain, including Samaritan’s Purse continue to provide aid post Hurricane Dorian and are assisting with COVID-19 response.
In the aftermath of the deadly storm, several international organizations, including Samaritan’s Purse, Humanitarian Aid and Rescue Project (HARP), and Heart to Heart, sent volunteers to assist with the delivery of health care.
Additionally, organizations like World Central Kitchen and the World Food Pragramme were helping with food distribution.
In early March, Samaritan’s Purse donated the field hospital deployed to Grand Bahama and all of its materials to the government of The Bahamas.
The organization is no longer providing medical services at the field hospital.
Some of the tents in the field hospital were reportedly repurposed and are currently being used for COVID19 screenings.
Notwithstanding, Samaritan’s Purse country director Ryan Lane said the organization has not reduced its presence in The Bahamas.
Samaritan’s Purse continues to operate on Grand Bahama, Abaco, Elbow Cay and Great Guana Cay and recently wrapped up debris removal operations on Man-O-War Cay.
“We have not decreased our presence at all, we are increasing it a little bit, especially in regard to our water, sanitation and hygiene work due to the pandemic itself,” Lane said, in a recent interview with Eyewitness News.
“We’ve started to set up programing to help with the prevention of COVID19 in The Bahamas and doing a significant amount of work around that as well as the debris removal and hurricane home repairs that we’re currently engage.”
Lane said they are also working on setting up handwashing stations, water points and several other points around Grand Bahama and Abaco in order to provide hygienic aid in the places that most need it.
As the world fights the spread of the respiratory illness and work to keep health systems from crippling, the international organization has also deployed field hospitals to New York and Italy – two of the hardest hit places.
The organization in collaboration with Mount Sinai Health System opened an emergency field hospital in New York’s iconic Central Park.
One has also been set up in Cremona, Italy, which is at the heart of the pandemic in Europe.
Lane noted, “Samaritan’s purse responds anywhere where there is need and that need is where we go and in the case of Italy or New York there are places that I think even a month ago we would not have guessed that we would be need would there. But the need is present.
“…We go in with a very specific mission and that mission surrounds around not just providing care, but also really showing and displaying the love of Christ everywhere we go. And that is an essential part of everything we do”
While the organization’s staff at the Grand Bahama office are working from home, there are still workers actively doing repairs and debris removal,
As of yesterday, just over one million COVID19 cases were recorded worldwide since the outbreak in Wuhan, China in December.