Hong Kong, 7 February 2020 – World Vision in China has distributed emergency protection supplies – including thousands of masks to local health workers to support China’s response to the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak.
“Time is of the essence. We have already distributed 50,000 masks to five counties in four provinces. We are also sourcing personal protective equipment kits which include masks, thermometers, sanitizers and soap from within China and from other countries to ensure people have the means and the knowledge to protect themselves and their children as China faces one of the biggest crises it has seen in recent history,” says John Teng, National Director, World Vision China.
World Vision remains concerned with the alarming increase of confirmed cases. While the nation scrambles for masks, World Vision teams are planning with local partners to reach out to as many vulnerable children and communities as possible to educate them on how to stay safe and to curb the spread of the virus.
Efforts to raise awareness will also include the critical element of knowing when and how to practice basic good personal hygiene, such as proper hand-washing with soap; the right way to wear a correct mask; and how to cover one’s mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing. World Vision is reminding community members that during the 2003 outbreak of SARS – which was also a type of coronavirus – washing hands 10 times a day cut the spread of the virus by 55%. Handwashing with soap is one of the most important ways that people can avoid this new coronavirus. The World Health Organization also recommends that surgical masks be prioritised for health care workers, patients, and those caring for people who are sick, and that cloth masks not be used under any circumstances.
“With many cities on lockdown and livelihoods affected in many situations, it’s critical to ensure that people have the resources and knowledge to be able to care for themselves and their families, especially as children are vulnerable in such situations,” adds Teng.
On 30 January 2020, the WHO declared the outbreak of Novel coronavirus a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. Based on the recent report on 6th February from the National Health Commission of China, over 28,000 people have been infected so far, and the numbers continue to increase rapidly.
"It appears at this point that coronavirus is more likely to target adults. This, of course, includes parents and, in particular, grandparents, who can often serve as important caregivers of young children. In many countries, when family members are sick and cannot work or put food on the table, children are at a higher risk of malnutrition, diarrhoea and other killer diseases,” says Tom Davis, World Vision’s Global Lead for Health and Nutrition.
World Vision’s response aims to target more than 388,000 people through the distribution of personal protective equipment to local health workers and hygiene and sanitation promotion activities in 10 provinces and Tianjin city including Hubei and Hunan provinces.
World Vision is working in close coordination with the government in China, local agencies, including health and education ministries to monitor developments and needs as the situation unfolds.
World Vision is a global relief, development and advocacy organisation dedicated to working with the children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. We serve all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender. World Vision was established in China in since1933 doing community development work across 7 provinces and Tianjin city in the country.
For more information, please contact:
Jonathan Su, Director of Resource Development, World Vision China
Mobile: +86-155 8708 7042