It has long been suspected that Peru has been undercounting the number of positive cases and COVID deaths. This is attributable in great part to the very poor healthcare infrastructure serving the very poor. The government came out the week of May 31, 2021 to announce they were increasing the death toll from COVID by over 300%. Peru has now registered 1,965,432 positive COVID-19 cases and a staggering 184,942 deaths. Peru’s per capita fatalities is now the highest in the world by a wide margin. For the majority of Peruvians social distancing is not an option and the crowded living conditions, work places, streets and markets are a breeding ground for the virus to spread. Compounding the problem has been the scarcity of vaccines with less than 10% of the adult population receiving at least one shot. Taken all together these realities have resulted in a humanitarian nightmare for Peru and other similar countries.
Faced with this crisis, Peru has been unable to effectively prevent and care for the nation’s most vulnerable due to its low number of ICU beds per capita, history of low investment in healthcare, and a severe shortage of medical professionals. ICU capacity is limited due to the number of beds but even more so by the small number of doctors and nurses who have this level of expertise. All of these issues raise the need to help build the healthcare infrastructure. To that end, VIDA made 24 shipments in 2020 and have already sent 14 shipments through May 2021. Shipments contains ICU hospital beds, stretchers, exam tables along with hundreds of walkers and thousands of crutches as well as thousands of boxes of medical supplies including PPE and respiratory equipment and supplies to combat the virus.
A major cost in this project is the ocean freight from Oakland to Callao. GlobalGiving donors play an important role in making these shipments possible. We hope you can join us in our mission to bring aid to Peru’s most vulnerable communities.
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