The impact of the COVID-19 epidemic will be felt by some more than others. The people who will especially suffer will be those already neglected. Those who have fled because of war, or who are already devastated by disease. Those who don’t have access to treatment for existing conditions. Those trapped in conflict zones under bombing and siege. Those who can’t stock up on food because they already can’t afford a meal every night of the week.
Many of the health systems bracing for the impact of COVID-19 have already been hammered to breaking point by war, corruption, austerity and sanctions. They are barely able to cope with ordinary patient loads. There are global shortages of medical equipment, including masks, which are key to preventing the further spread of the pandemic. Médecins Sans Frontières is committed to help, and we have taken the lead in exploring supply chains in our region, which will enable our global response to be sustained.