Supply Chain Disruptions Hinder Guatemala’s COVID-19 Response
[A shipment of pharmaceuticals donated by Brother’s Brother Foundation and delivered in partnership with Cross Catholic Outreach has reduced the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in Guatemala.]
By Kaitlyn Nuebel
COVID-19 arrived in Guatemala with an advantage. The country, which has reported a total of 1,161,983 COVID-19 cases and nearly 20,000 related deaths, lacked healthcare necessities before the pandemic, and was not prepared to respond to the dire circumstances once the virus became widespread. Supply chain disruptions have made it even harder for Guatemala’s healthcare providers to access medications and supplies, limiting their ability to provide treatment.
Brother’s Brother Foundation, in partnership with Cross Catholic Outreach (CCO), provided 122 health clinics in 22 of Guatemala’s departments with pharmaceuticals and medical supplies, offsetting the country’s limited resources. These clinics, run by CCO partner Friends for Health and Life, care for the nation’s poorest and most vulnerable communities, many of which did not have any access to healthcare until the clinics were established.
Doctors in Guatemala initially only had access to one medication they could use to treat intubated COVID-19 patients, but its high price prevented many from administering it. A supply of Prednisone donated by BBF, provided another alternative to reduce lung inflammation in patients. Some of the more routine medications sent in the shipment also played a significant role in the country’s pandemic recovery. Ibuprofen may have casual benefits in the United States, but not in Guatemala, where it has reduced the number of hospitalizations caused by COVID-19.