Story and photos by Sara Navarro
When the first boxes of donated medical supplies began to be unloaded by Hospital Regional de Patos employees, Eliana, a Compassion Partnership Facilitator, had to work hard to contain her emotion. She knew the impact that each mask, cap, gown and sanitizer would have on the hospital, which also serves several neighboring cities.
"I was able to listen closely to the report of hospital staff and see the challenges they are facing in this pandemic period," she says. "The number of cases hasn't stopped increasing in the region and hospitals are fighting to serve everyone, but it is complicated (since they are short on supplies)."
"I was able to listen closely to the report of hospital staff and see the challenges they are facing in this pandemic period. The number of cases haven't stopped increasing in the region and hospitals are fighting to serve everyone, but it is complicated (since they are short on supplies)." — Eliana, Compassion Partnership Facilitator
Since the first case of COVID-19 emerged in Brazil, one of the biggest concerns of doctors and specialists was whether the country's health system would be able to cope with the demand for its services. Brazil has a public health system that offers medical care to the entire population. However, the service does not always have sufficient resources to cover the needs of all patients, especially in the most impoverished areas of the country.
Because of the growing number of COVID-19 cases in Brazil, Compassion provided Compassion Brazil with a US$40,000 humanitarian aid donation to help hospitals and medical centers in the neediest regions of the country. After research, Compassion Brazil chose seven hospitals in cities where Compassion's church partners are operating and which have high numbers of COVID-19 cases.
"We are immensely grateful that we were chosen by Compassion. Our hospital has been instrumental in treating suspected or infected with COVID-19 across our region, so medical supplies are essential to our work with patients," says Liliane Sena, the Director of the hospital in Patos.
Among the items donated to hospitals is personal protective equipment, including masks, caps, procedure gloves, aprons, goggles, and hand sanitizer, plus disinfectants like bleach, sodium hypochlorite and antiseptic, materials in high demand.
"Donations arrived at a very opportune moment, as our region has suffered a lot from the growing number of cases," says Rejane Moreira, the Municipal Health Secretary. "We are grateful to Compassion for the donations."