NPH El Salvador Evolves To Meet Changing Needs in the Pandemic
Like homes and communities around the world, Casa Sagrada Familia bears the brunt of supply shortages, escalating costs, and local panic. April 30, 2020 - El Salvador
It is important to have the right medical supplies on hand to effectively safeguard the well-being of the kids.
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected millions of people, from the loss of loved ones to mass quarantine edicts that have led to the loss of employment and livelihoods. The restrictions have left many businesses and organizations with serious questions to answer, with staff not able to leave their homes, perishable goods barred from shipment across town or across the country, and the increasing cost of essential items that continue to be in short supply.
NPH El Salvador is no different.
The NPH family continues to prioritize the health and security of children and staff, while maintaining the values of NPH. The prevention and protection protocols and other health measures are in constant evaluation at Casa Sagrada Familia in order to keep the children and staff safe. Under the care of National Director Dora Serrano, medical staff and psychologists maintain constant communication about the children’s well-being, emotional stability, and compliance with safe practices.
Dora Serrano explains, “It is necessary that we face the pandemic with patience and, at the same time, take necessary measures to guarantee that we are doing our best to protect our children and youth. It’s a constant fight, but we cannot get down on ourselves. We must stay optimistic. My primary concern is that our children have the basics. Food, medication, hygiene products, and the like are becoming difficult to obtain because people are hoarding them.”
One of the items becoming difficult to find is personal protective equipment (PPE). The price of a box of latex gloves increased from US$10 to US$15. NPH El Salvador is purchasing 10 boxes a month since the outbreak of COVID-19. Face masks went from US$1.15 to US$1.40 per unit. The Home buys 200 per month as essential protective gear in its fight against the COVID-19 virus.
Dr. Karla Monterrosa, head physician at Casa Sagrada Familia, says, “Medical supplies, such as PPE, and controlled and general medications are of vital importance to continue providing essential medical care. The economic crisis resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic is already affecting us. The cost of medical supplies and medicine is increasing and will continue to do so.”
Other medical supplies that NPH El Salvador has had to purchase to fight COVID-19 include gallons of sanitizing gel, several gallons of isopropyl alcohol, and an assortment of medications, such as pain relievers and common cold and flu treatments. The Home has also stocked up on cleaning products, buying bleach, laundry detergent, hand soap, and disinfectant. In April alone, the Home bought 80 gallons of disinfectant to boost the hygiene practices of the staff and children.
The caregivers strive to keep children focused on a mix of activities, homework, and recreational pursuits in order to help prevent the kids from panicking or having anxiety attacks about a situation they cannot control. Taking into account that the kids are aware of the challenges of the situation, caregivers reinforce the importance of proper handwashing and obeying social distancing rules.
The kids comprehend the dangers of the virus owing to educational talks from Dr. Karla. Some of the children have even made videos to promote handwashing and social distancing for other youth. And many have taken part in the Handwash Challenge.
NPH El Salvador also purchased jigsaw puzzles, board games, and books, which have been distributed among the casitas.
“Children and youth have school activities, homework, as well as fun outdoors activities. But, honestly, this is no longer enough. They want to return to school and see their classmates, who come from the local community. For our children, living in this situation is stressful, but we work hard to do our best for them so that they are safe from danger,” adds Dora.
NPH El Salvador continues to support programs for hermanos mayores and community aid by providing supplies and medications a monthly basis. This global pandemic is impacting our entire family. The NPH staff continues to take pains to ensure the well-being of the children. It is thanks to the support of generous supporters and donors that we are able to change the lives of the pequeños and make a difference during this difficult time.
“You may only be one person in the world, but you may be all the world to one child.”
—Fr. William B. Wasson
Please support our NPH homes during this time of need. Visit nph.org for more information.
Carmina Salazar Communications Officer, NPH El Salvador