According to the reports, the death toll in China from the coronavirus outbreak has reached more than 1,600. With this, the crisis has now become a global concern.
The increasing death toll is a great concern in both the public and private sectors worldwide. As a result, the United States government is offering help by sending funds to fighting against the epidemic. On top of that, several humanitarian groups and private individuals are stepping up as well.
World Vision International
And the evangelical Christian humanitarian aid, World Vision, is among those offering help. The non-profit organization is “spending million to bring aid to hundreds of thousands of Chinese citizens,” according to Faithwire. They are supporting more than 55,000 children and employing 300 locales.
Erica Van Deren, the program manager for humanitarian and emergency affairs at World Vision, told The Christian Post that “39,000 out of the 55,000 sponsored children in China live in areas that are in ‘immediate risk’ of the coronavirus.”
“We’re working with our sponsor children and their families to make sure their families have the protective equipment that they need,” she said in a statement. “Then also [they need the] education and understanding of how they need to protect themselves from this and talk to kids about the fear and stress they may be having.”
Helping Poor Chinese Families
World Vision has sent around $3.7 million in efforts to help the crisis in China. And currently, the organization has already distributed 50,000 hospital face masks in four different Chinese provinces.
“These are incredibly poor families,” Erica explained. “World Vision China has a history of addressing the needs of these communities.”
Educating Citizens Regarding Coronavirus
Furthermore, the Christian organization is taking the initiative to help local Chinese partners. World Vision is helping them educate citizens on hygiene techniques to avoid the virus.
“Right now, that is sort of a gap in the response,” Erica said. “World Vision is helping to fill that gap and working with the government to make sure that the people working in those homes have the protective equipment that they need.”
Coronavirus Contained In China
Also, the program manager pointed out that the disease is primarily contained to China.
“We don’t want anybody out there to think there is a big fear of transmission being outside of China,” she said. “Really, the biggest concerns are inside China. But every office is assessing what is the World Vision capacity to respond if this were to come [to their countries] and if the host governments are ready to respond if this were to happen.”
Other Countries’ Concern
She also expressed concern of the countries with “inadequate health systems.”
“Our biggest concern is if this were to go into countries that don’t have strong health systems or don’t have strong governments that are able to control and trace the virus,” Erica stressed.
“What we have right now is the grace of time. Let’s be thinking about what would happen if this were to come to a country in southern Africa. And think about who would lead our response there and who would be our public health leaders.”
She then added, “In a lot of these places we have worked for a long time on infectious diseases like Zika, Ebola and HIV. And we already have strong connections to the ministry of health and local health workers.”