In 2019, after a thorough evaluation and site visit, Esperança began sending volunteer surgical missions to Hospital León Becerra in Guayaquil, Ecuador. Three teams have completed missions at the new site, seeing well over 100 patients each week thanks to the help of a local patient pre-screening team.
Understandably, due to the coronavirus pandemic surgical missions to all Esperança’s partner sites have been postponed for the time being.
On February 29th, the first COVID-19 case was reported in Ecuador. Through May 20th, there have been 34,854 reported COVID-19 cases and the death toll is 2,888, a fatality rate of 8.29% (National COE, 2020). In interviews with CNN, three doctors in Guayaquil, each working at different hospitals, described similar frightening situations: Hospitals completely overwhelmed by a pandemic that descended swiftly on an unprepared, under-resourced healthcare system, leaving no chance to truly help people overcome the coronavirus, let alone provide patients with basic levels of care.
In the face of the health emergency and overall state of emergency that Ecuador is experiencing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, obtaining medical supplies and disinfectants has been a challenge due to shortages and price increases. For this reason, Esperança sponsored the delivery of over $35,000 worth in Personal Protection Equipment(PPE) to the frontline workers of Hospital León Becerra.
Thanks to this donation, the staff at Hospital León Becerra de Guayaquil are now equipped with:
- Biosecurity suits
- Protective glasses
- N95 Masks
This is just one of the many ways that Esperança is responding to the varying needs of our partner countries, ensuring that none is alone in their fight against this pandemic.