Responding to COVID-19 in Southeast Asia

May 28, 2020 • Asia

Samaritan's Purse staff members in Asia continue serving people in the midst of a global health crisis.

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Samaritan’s Purse teams in our Asia offices continue to help alleviate suffering during the COVID-19 global pandemic, finding critical ways to support men, women, and children during this uncertain time.

In the Philippines we partnered with a local architecture and design firm to construct the Caloocan City emergency quarantine facility to support the overflow of COVID-19 isolation and treatment capacity for Caloocan City North Medical Center. We also constructed two 22-bed facilities at Tondo High School in Manila City in support of two major hospitals in the city, as well as a 10-bed facility with an accompanying outpatient triage unit at Novaliches District Hospital.

Manila City Mayor Isko Domagoso, left, and Country Director Patrick Gitonga during the turnover ceremony.

Manila City Mayor Isko Domagoso, left, and Country Director Patrick Gitonga during the turnover ceremony.

Samaritan’s Purse turned over the Tondo facilities to the local government during a recent ceremony attended by Manila City Mayor Francisco “Isko” Domagoso; General Felimon T. Santos Jr., Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines; and representatives from the departments of health and education.

“On behalf of the people of Manila, thank you very much Samaritan’s Purse,” Mayor Isko said. “When we put God first, we can heal as one.”

Every patient who comes to the Tondo units receives a copy of the New Testament in Tagalog, the local language.

The Tondo emergency quarantine facilities were already at nearly 100 percent capacity less than one week after the turnover ceremony.

Local leaders in the Philippines we previously trained to serve as water, sanitation, and hygiene community advocates provided about 350 bottles of bleach to their neighbors to encourage good household cleaning habits that will help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Making bleach to share with their neighbors.

These leaders purchased the ingredients needed to make the bleach using profits from their previous sales of hygiene consumables—which they learned how to make during a Samaritan’s Purse training.

“We needed to disinfect, but I only had enough money to buy rice. Thank you for what you’re doing,” said Lani, who lives in the Tondo slums in Manila.

Our community advocates also invested their hygiene consumable profits in making soap for their families to help ensure that everyone is thoroughly washing their hands.

“The important thing now is to help others. The Lord will provide for us,” said Rowela, a community advocate.

Our Hazard Area Readiness Training in the Philippines prepared Vivian De Leon to reach out to her community during the global pandemic. The training includes basic counseling methods to help people cope with a crisis both practically and spiritually. Vivian and her son, who is a police officer, created an online outreach using chat messaging to encourage frontline health workers caring for COVID-19 patients.

In addition to her online ministry, Vivian was asked by the chairmen of several communities to use their public address system to offer words of spiritual encouragement through Bible reading and prayer for thousands of residents whose movements have been limited for more than a month because of the health crisis. “Prayer is the most powerful weapon to combat COVID-19. We only need courage, confidence, and commitment to pray,” she said.

“Prayer is the most powerful weapon to combat COVID-19.”

Through the public address system, Vivian is also sharing about hygiene practices that she learned from the Samaritan’s Purse Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene project that will help decrease the spread of the coronavirus.

Giving Back

In Hanoi, Vietnam, we provided 300 hygiene kits and liquid hand washing soap, hand sanitizer, and thermometers to Hao Sua School. For nearly 20 years Samaritan’s Purse has partnered with Hoa Sua School to provide vocational training and employment opportunities for hundreds of ethnic minority students and disabled students.

A Hoa Sua student wears her mask for protection.

A Hoa Sua student wears her mask for protection.

Each hygiene kit included a mask, bar of soap, and eye and nose drops. “The fabric mask is very useful since it is washable and reusable. Thank you very much for giving us such a meaningful gift in this time of outbreak,” said Sung Thi Ca, a culinary student.

Vice principal Le Thi Kim Phuong is grateful for the help from Samaritan’s Purse.

“We are deeply moved by your support and your acts of kindness. The donation of medical supplies has played a vital role in preventing the spread of COVID-19 among the students and teachers,” she said.

Our teams in Myanmar also prepared medical supplies, including thermometers, masks, and gloves, that were distributed through a local partner and the social welfare department.

Samaritan’s Purse staffers in Cambodia equipped local drivers with coronavirus prevention education. We provided informational posters for them to mount on the back of their vehicles and hand sanitizer to distribute to all passengers.

In addition to Asia, Samaritan’s Purse is working in all of our field offices and affiliate offices to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Please continue to pray for our teams in Asia and around the world as they demonstrate God’s love to hurting people during this global pandemic.

SUPPORT
We began today receiving patients at the respiratory care unit.
Emergency Medicine Your gift will enable Samaritan’s Purse to provide life-saving medical care (including doctors, nurses, respirators, and other essential equipment) in places where vulnerable communities are suffering in the wake of disaster or from outbreaks of infectious diseases like COVID-19. We also offer public health outreaches to prevent the spread of life-threatening illnesses. Most importantly, we are able to bring the Gospel message of eternal hope to those who are suffering and afraid.

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