May 11, 2020 6:06 pm
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Categories: AMERICA CCP Virus Doctors Without Borders JoshWho News Navajo Nation New Mexico Politics Social Issues US US News

At least two teams from Doctors Without Borders, an international organization that provides medical aid to communities in need, are working with Native American tribes in New Mexico to help curb the spread of COVID-19, according to reports.

Jean Stowell, head of the organization’s U.S. COVID-19 response team, told CNN that a nine-person team arrived in Gallup late April and has been working with the Navajo Nation, the largest Native American tribe in the United States.

She told the outlet that the organization is currently “focusing on providing technical guidance to health care facilities and communities with infection prevention and control.”

Tribal communities across the state have been hard hit by COVID-19, the illness caused by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus, which emerged from China last year.

According to the New Mexico Department of Health, around 56 percent of COVID-19 cases are Native American, while they make up only around 11 percent of the state’s total population.

Navajo Code talkers attend ceremony
Navajo Code talkers attend ceremony Frank Willetto (2nd R) of Crownpoint, N.M., and Keith Little (R) of Navajo, N.M., both members of the Navajo Code Talkers during World War II, attend a ceremony to mark the 65th anniversary of the battle of Iwo Jima, in Triangle, Va., on Feb. 19, 2010. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Stowell told CNN that team-members were also working with community leaders on promoting healthy living and educating people about staying in good health.

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez told KOAT Action News that he is grateful to participating organizations “for sending their warriors to the frontlines to this war against coronavirus.”

“We will needditional health care professionals here on the Navajo Nation,” Nez said. “We don’t know if this is going to be a virus that is going to stay for a while.”

Epoch Times Photo
Epoch Times Photo People walk by an educational exhibit organized by Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), in New York City, on Sept. 23, 2016. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Nico D’Auterive, a spokesman for Doctors Without Borders, told the Albuquerque Journal that the nine-person team consists of physicians, nurse-midwives, logisticians, and a health promoter.

“Our team has been focusing on how infection prevention and control can be improved in various facilities and attempting to better understand the nuances of community and household transmission,” D’Auterive said.

Epoch Times Photo
Epoch Times Photo Pamphlets on display at a fundraiser for Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), at a private residence in Venice, Cali., on May 25, 2006. (David Livingston/Getty Images)

Stowell said in a statement that, since the start of the pandemic, Doctors Without Borders, also known as Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), has received hundreds of queries from local governments and civil society organizations across the United States asking for engagement.

“Based on our own experience responding to infectious disease outbreaks around the world, MSF is helping organizations and health care providers in the USapt and apply public health guidance according to the needs and resources available in their particular communities,” Stowellded.

“In most states, authorities are instructing people to protect themselves from COVID-19 by staying home, avoiding crowds, and washing their hands often,” said Dr. Carrie Teicher, director of programs for MSF in the United States, in a statement.

Epoch Times Photo
Epoch Times Photo A sign announces free showers at a Doctors Without Borders temporary shower trailer in Manhattan, in New York City, on May 07, 2020. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

“This isn’t possible for the millions of people in the US who are housing insecure. Where are they supposed to shower or wash their hands when public restrooms and facilities have closed? For people living in shelters or in communal housing, how are they supposed to self-isolate?” she said.

The organization has also worked todress pandemic needs in New York City, an outbreak hot spot. There, they partnered with local organizations seeking to reduce infections among the homeless.

Measures include donating over 80 handwashing stations to places like soup kitchens, and opening a temporary shower trailer in Manhattan, offering free showers for people who lack access to such facilities, with a particular focus on the needs of society’s most vulnerable.

Follow Tom on Twitter: @OZImekTOM

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