Hunger and deprivation in Sri Lanka are the worst in living memory. The Covid crisis has destroyed livelihoods. Many families eat only once a day, and some have nothing but rice and chillis. Weakened and malnourished bodies are liable to fall sick and cannot resist the coronavirus when it strikes. It is little wonder that Covid cases began to surge in August, overwhelming the hospitals.
But for the very poor, including many Christians, all medical care was out of reach anyway. What to do in this desperate situation?
A group of Sri Lankan Christian healthcare professionals, travelling their country, saw the dire conditions in which many people were struggling to survive. Amongst the most needy were the many daily wage earners who had lost their livelihoods due to the pandemic; they could not even feed their families, let alone provide medical care if they fell sick with Covid.
Inspired by Isaiah
Taking their inspiration from the picture of restoration in Isaiah 61, the team of doctors and psychologists has set up a practical response. Their vision is to provide home care for Christian Covid patients by empowering local churches. They appealed to Barnabas Fund to help with finance.
Will you join hands with us and them to make this a reality?
Empowering eleven churches
The project establishes home-based Covid care at eleven local churches in three provinces of Sri Lanka. At each church volunteers are trained to make home visits to Covid patients (observing strict quarantine rules). The volunteers explain to the families how to look after their sick members and give them a care pack containing vitamins, medicines to relieve symptoms, a pulse oximeter and an instruction leaflet.
Each church will be provided with an oxygen concentrator to help the most acute cases.
If resources are available, the project will be expanded to more churches.
Medicines and equipment needed
Training, transport, printing and management costs will be provided by the Sri Lankan believers. But can you help fund these items?
Medicines and vitamins for 1 patient for 2 weeks £3.70 ($5; €4.30)
Pulse oximeter £18 ($25; €22)
Oxygen concentrator £700 ($975; €850)
Total cost per church £1,800 ($2,400; €2,100)