We survived Week 1. We need your help to get through Week 2.
Never before has the true meaning of Ubuntu been so apparent for our family, staff, and the people who we empower and who we serve than during this unprecedented global crisis. It has brought us together in ways never imagined while keeping us apart in ways that threaten to degrade the work that we have been building on for 20 years. This threat is only that though, because we are blessed with a global Tribe who will help us through this crisis. We are incredibly grateful for your support which has enabled us to build infrastructure and capacity that makes us better prepared to confront this threat. From putting a new electronic medical records system in place which will allow our providers in the US to continue providing critical care for our neurology patients to helping us build a team of phenomenal health care leaders, community health workers, therapists, and passionate caregivers - our Tribe is the lifeblood of Ubuntu.
Late last week, Kenya confirmed its first case of COVID-19 and like many areas of the globe, it is spreading at unprecedented rates. The Kenya Ministry of Health is working with the CDC to support their efforts to combat the virus and the government has been moving rapidly to implement extreme social distancing measures. There is limited testing capacity increasingly available, but testing commodities and personal protective equipment is still in short supply.
Most unfortunately, we have had to close down our school which serves over 60 special needs students in our immediate area. However, we are pivoting our therapy and health programs to still serve our students and patients in a meaningful way that will save lives and impact generations of families. There are still very important things that we still need support for in order to continue to serve these families - every little bit helps now more than ever.
One of the first things we are going to be implementing that we need help with is offering food to the children in our programs - our school lunch program has brought many of our students back from the brink of malnourishment and we are not going to let this pandemic keep our kids from receiving the daily nutrients that they need.
Our community health workers are going to be more critical than ever and we need your help to mobilize them to respond to the health crisis. They are going to be making house calls to patients in need, organizing telehealth clinics with our U.S. medical volunteers, and continue being the lifeblood of our community's health response and education about this virus. We are thankful that in 2019 we launched Xelpha health, our first electronic medical records system, which will allow us to serve our patients despite social distancing measures and travel restrictions and will bring you all more information about the development of that telehealth program soon.
Medications for the children in our program who have epilepsy and other neurological disorders are going to be critical at this time. If our patients are kept without these medications, they are very likely to lose much of the progress that they have gained, experience more frequent seizures, and fail to hit developmental milestones that are imperative to living a dignified life.
To our tribe members - your support which has enabled us to build infrastructure and capacity that makes us better prepared than ever to confront this threat. We hope that you will continue to walk this journey with us, as our commitment to the children and families remains steadfast.
Stay tuned to our social media for updates from Kenya, daily inspiration, and insights from some of the incredible medical volunteers and supporters of our programs. As the situation continues to develop, we will share our stories and successes with you and hope that you will reach out as well.