It has been over a month since the new presidential administration took office in Perú; and the response to the COVID pandemic by the government remains strong.
More and more age-groups are eligible for vaccination and larger geographic segments of the population are receiving their first doses. Projections by the Ministry of Health indicate all eligible citizens will receive their first dose by the end of 2021. This is great news. However, a number of questions remain - will the current vaccine formulations confer immune coverage in response to the rapidly changing variants (NB: Perú is predominately administering the Sinopharm BBIBP-CorV vaccine formulation - which study data indicates has a <51% efficacy rate)? Will a booster vaccine be required to match the evolving viral complexity? And if such, how will Perú secure the millions of additional doses needed to "immune boost" thousands of rural and underserved communities?
In addition, a third wave of cases is expected to hit before the end of 2021 (NB: modeling predictions forecast a mid-December peak to the third wave). How well prepared is Perú for this inevitable impact on the healthcare system? On their fragile economy?
At present, things are looking up for Perú as case loads continue to decrease and more and more eligible individuals receive their inoculations. The future - however - remains a bit uncertain; and as the U.S. and E.U. wrestle with the ethics of booster immunizations, much of the developing and middle-income world struggle to find a clear path to a new normal way of living in the age of COVID.
Add to this complex picture, climate disruptions, natural disasters like the horrible impact and devastations in Haiti, unending political and military conflicts, and a widening divide between "have" and "have not" citizens of our terrestrial globe - and it is really hard to know where we "go from here?"
I think the focus is making a difference for the communities we serve. Our focus as an organization is to continue to create pathways of health, hope, home and purpose for the women, children, and healthcare professionals we are called to serve. We will keep build bridges - one person at a time.
The HBI Blog is a rotating journal from our staff. Our Blog is a series of messages from the field, insights from our work, and lessons in service.