Dear Watsi Friends,

I’ve just gotten off the phone with one of our medical partners and wanted to share an update to last week’s note with our Watsi community. As mentioned, we are navigating this uncertain time by leaning into our values of people over path and listen and learn first. We are committed to supporting our people—patients, partners, donors, and team members—and being guided by what we are hearing from them directly.  

While the impact of COVID-19 on your own countries or cities has likely been part of your daily experience and/or reading in recent weeks, there is not as much coverage or understanding as to how it is beginning to impact lives where Watsi patients often live or at the hospitals where we support life-changing surgeries.  

Watsi Medical Partner making masks this week for patients in Thailand (Credit: Burma Children Medical Fund).

What we are learning:

1) We are continuing to hear that the need for surgical support for patients remains high. Unfortunately, other illnesses and conditions are not on hold and are continuing to impact the health and wellbeing of the people we aim to serve. We also have learned that hospitals in some locations are starting to postpone select elective procedures so that they can limit unintended coronavirus exposure for hospital patients and medical teams. This seems to be taking place based on the local assessment of risk and local government recommendations. In addition to asking for our support for postponed cases when they do take place, requests for Watsi support of emergency surgery, such as emergency c-sections or accidents, have come in and we hope to start to support more of these patients in the coming weeks.

2) Watsi medical partners and care centers are preparing for uncertain times ahead. While we have communicated our commitment to standing by our partners during this time, there is broader concern about the road ahead both from a medical and financial standpoint. Our hope is that the global community will continue to support each other, share learning and resources, and show up for those who are the most vulnerable among us in meaningful, life-changing ways.  

We are listening out for any additional needs that our partners and patients may have, such as support for supplies or equipment that can help them prepare to stay safe and healthy in the months ahead. We’ll continue to share what we are hearing with you directly and ask for your support if needed.

If Watsi’s story can teach us anything, it is that when we come together, people can do amazing things. We can help each other thrive. We can release a family from a lifetime of worry. We can connect, identify with, and change the life of another, anywhere in the world.

Take a moment to read about a patient in need of life-changing healthcare today.

From all of us at Watsi, take care and be well.

The Watsi Team

The Watsi Team

Everyone deserves healthcare.