COVID-19 crisis update...to our Medi Trippers, thank you.
Dear Medi Trippers,
Firstly I want to thank all of you who have been understanding and sending messages of concern, this is greatly appreciated. Thank you also to those who are concerned first and foremost about not introducing COVID-19 to vulnerable African communities and putting your trips on hold to safeguard our patients, we deeply appreciate this truly. The outpouring of support has been incredible. Thank you.
All volunteers already in location were temporarily quarantined and received daily health protocols (reporting daily temperatures and strict hygiene/cleaning protocols) in response to the growing threat of the virus in Africa. All of the volunteers who decided to or had to depart early from Africa will likely be asked to self isolate for 14 days on arrival to their home countries. Everyone has been extremely positive, supportive of each other and have worked as a team to keep each other safe. Many have fundraised, collecting medical supplies to donate to their placements, donating to fees and even buying hospital furniture. They have been incredible, much like many of you who have sent well wishes and asking how you can help.
WHAT HAPPENS NOW?
For the majority of you coming from countries now considered high risk, you will now have been given formal notice from your home countries of not taking any non-essential travel. The majority of our African locations have now formally implemented temporary travel restrictions which are necessary to safeguard the very fragile health systems in Africa and the most vulnerable in the community. This includes 14 days mandatory isolation on arrival into the country (South Africa, Tanzania, Zanzibar) and a health screen. We are aware of the daily change of situation and how it has impacted each and every one of you, it has been an unprecedented crisis like none other world wide.
We have worked with local teams to increase flexibility, none of your trips have been cancelled and you will not have to rebook any placements. All bookings remain in place and open for future placement. Many of you have had your placements cancelled by your universities, please be assured that your bookings with Medi Trip remain and we will postpone your placement (as a professional volunteer or student intern) to a later date of your choosing.
Our partners are working hard to ensure the safety of our volunteers and we have been monitoring this situation closely on a daily basis. Taking extra health and safety precautions is our priority during this period of uncertainty. As you can all understand, their current focus will be responding to the crisis and keeping their own communities and families safe during this time.
Thank you for those who have already reached out to keep everyone up to date and reorganised their trip. You're still warmly welcomed and this is not the end of your journey. Your help, support, expertise and knowledge on the ground will be more essential than ever before.
SHARE AND EXCHANGE ONLINE PROGRAMS
We will be introducing online programs connecting volunteers with local communities to train or mentor in areas of health, infection control, epidemiology, education and more. If you are interested in enrolling in our new online programs which will respect social distancing guidelines but still make an impact please watch for updates.
These are truly uncertain times but we all believe we will beat this and we will all continue to do what unites us and what we are truly passionate about. For those of you still working on the frontlines at home during this crisis, we salute you, you are truly incredible. Please keep yourselves safe, comply with governmental and medical guidelines.
Stay positive and thank you again to each and every one of you incredible people.