|This year marks the end of a year like we have never had before. After all of the 2020 COVID-19 devastation, we were eager to get back to work with a full team and volunteers, but also hesitant of the safety risk this imposed on our patients. With the support of the Ministry of Health, volunteers, donors, and key stakeholders we decided to resume semi-normal operations in March. This gave us the chance to bring full clinics to communities that had not had access since 2019. |
We started with much optimism, as our Bocas team received the vaccine. We were all relieved and excited when we opened to a very small number of volunteers and began clinical activities. What we found was heartbreaking. Nearly 2 years of lapsed care resulted in diseases that, had we been able to provide screenings, would have been caught earlier and more easily treated. Malnutrition was rampant despite our (and many other groups’) efforts to deliver nutrient-dense meals. And, while many communities were somewhat protected by their remote nature, others suffered many losses as the contagious virus spread rapidly.
We felt the sting of coronavirus, too, as one of our first staff members, a dear friend, and a family member to many of our base staff passed from COVID. To say losing him was painful is an understatement, and volunteers and crew members all over the world mourned.
Still, these setbacks provided extra motivation to bring back regular healthcare to our communities. We found ourselves in need of more family planning, screening tools, medications, hygiene supplies… more everything. And with every ask, you and all of our partners delivered. You helped increase the number of women we can provide with contraception. Your support delivered multiple pallets of soap throughout the region. Because of you, we were able to lower the threshold at which we provide nutritional support to combat malnutrition, stunting, and wasting. When we say “many hands keep us afloat,” we mean it. Nearly 500 individuals financially supported our mission this year, and more than 20 organizations partnered to deliver care throughout our region. Hundreds more championed our cause by sharing our mission with their friends and family. At a time when so many are struggling, we are so moved by your compassion and generosity. There is still time this year to make make a gift in support of comprehensive, sustainable healthcare and capacity building. We’re committed to ensuring the delivery of healthcare to our beloved communities, and we can’t do this without you.
On behalf of the Floating Doctors team, our 66 volunteers, and thousands of patients seen we would like to say THANK YOU!!!