Navajo Nation now has the highest per-capita COVID-19 infection rate after only New York and New Jersey, and the spread is not slowing. The infection rate is 10 times that of neighboring areas in Arizona. The crisis is so bad at Navajo Nation that on May 11th, 2020 Doctors Without Borders dispatched a team to help. To do our small part, HumankindNOW donated 500 surgical gowns to Navajo Nation at the end of April.
Since our donation, we stayed in touch with Sage White at Navajo Nation and we wanted to share her update with you.
When asked what it is currently like at Navajo Nation, Sage replied “It is wonderful to be part of a team that has been proactive, resilient and flexible in the face of the pandemic, but like all rural locations, we face challenges with limited resources, no ICU at our community’s critical access hospital, and transferring patients to the appropriate level of care can take hours.”
On the topic of how the front line professionals are meeting the health care demands during this crisis, Sage said “Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, our team, which includes clinical care providers, pharmacists, environmental services, maintenance, and numerous other individuals, has been adapting our clinics and normal operating procedures to best serve our patients. We have implemented a separate respiratory clinic, which was previously a podiatry clinic, a car triage system, drive-through pharmacy, and phone clinics for routine primary care. Our physicians, primarily family medicine doctors, are staffing the urgent care, car triage, as well as providing obstetrical, inpatient, and continuity outpatient care.”
Sage also let us know that “the gowns and other personal protective equipment donated by HumankindNOW are being used by our providers and clinical care staff while working in our car triage, respiratory clinic, and urgent care as we care for patients who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or have concerning symptoms that require in-person evaluation and treatment.”
Thank you to Sage and to the many other volunteers and front line professionals at Navajo Nation. You are a reminder that our greatest weapon against COVID-19 is humankindness.