Confronting the COVID-19 Spike in Africa
With hospitals located in Africa, CURE International is constantly monitoring the COVID-19 spread there and adjusting safety protocols at the hospitals as needed. Peter Kyalo, Chief of Programs and Services for CURE, has found that his role has been marked by constant change and has required much flexibility in order to adapt and confront the spread of this global virus.
“I had just taken on my new role, as Chief of Programs and Services early in the year, when we heard rumblings about the new Coronavirus wreaking havoc in Wuhan, China, and international transmissions beginning to be reported across many countries. We didn’t know then that COVID-19 would inflict illness and death in most communities across the world and affect every economy,” said Peter Kyalo. “The information has been changing fast, and I remember the international guidelines at the beginning were that masks were not advised at all. It was thought that it was risky as one was required to touch their face many times as they adjusted their masks. Hydroxychloroquine was touted as the magic drug that would help fight COVID-19. We asked all our hospitals to stock up with this drug only for new guidelines to come out that suggested this was not the right drug to use. We have learned that new discoveries are being made and information is changing all the time. What we know changes, sometimes dramatically. I have had to say many times I was wrong, or that there are new facts that require our thinking to shift. It has, therefore, felt a lot like fixing the plane as we fly. I have found that we need to make decisions fast and with incomplete information. I would prefer a situation where the information and data are complete to allow for better decision making, but unfortunately, this pandemic has not allowed us that luxury.”
“My day starts very early in the morning and ends late at night, as I continue to serve and support the hospital leadership teams. We have had to work together and meet more often. We have had to pray and support each other emotionally, as this has been a very difficult period for our colleagues at the hospitals. So much for me has been about being present and hopeful in the moment. It has been about having faith and knowing that He who has called us is faithful, and He will lead us through this season.“
“It has been a huge lesson in not leading through fear. While the world is living in fear, we must look to the peace and power of God and be the living hope found in His name. Faith can be an antidote to fear, and nothing strengthens a believer’s faith like the promises of God.”
“Elly Chemey, Malawi’s ED, shared with us during our meeting the other day the words from Isaiah 41, ‘So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.’ I am, therefore, encouraged and strengthened by these words that our God will help us go through this crisis, we only need to trust and believe his word.”
CURE International’s Chief of Programs and Services, Peter Kyalo, was invited to participate in a panel discussion with other industry leaders including Andrea Atzori from Doctors with Africa CUAMM, Dr. Alma Golden from USAID Global Health Bureau, and Christopher Maloney from USAID Africa Bureau.
USAID’s Center for Faith and Opportunity Initiatives is hosting a webinar to discuss how Faith- and Community-Based Organizations are confronting Africa’s COVID-19 spike. According to USAID, “Confirmed cases in Africa are rising at a rate of approximately 7.5 percent a day. Nearly half of the hospitals and clinics in Africa are organized or funded by faith-based groups.”
To learn more about how organizations are dealing with COVID-19 in Africa, register for USAID’s webinar by clicking here.
USAID’s Center for Faith and Opportunity Initiatives: How Faith- and Community-Based Organizations are confronting Africa’s COVID-19 Spike
Date: Thursday, August 6th, 2020
Time: 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. EST