In 2021, the worldwide health scene was still dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Coronavirus was disseminated far faster by the Delta and Omicron strains than by their predecessors, outpacing the rate of immunization. Officially, the death toll from COVID-19 surpassed 6 million individuals worldwide, but many more died without being counted. Multiple types of COVID-19 vaccines became available, due to technological and scientific advances, and were produced by multiple countries. This was a significant step forward in the battle against the virus. Disparities of health were heightened as low-income and even middle-income countries struggled to vaccinate their populations against the deadly virus. In comparison, high-in-come countries vaccinated most of their citizens multiple times.
The excruciating deaths of tens of thousands of patients due to a lack of oxygen was an-other example of healthcare inequity. Oxygen is the mainstay in the treatment of respira-tory failure due to COVID-19 pneumonia. Patients in India, Brazil, Yemen, Tunisia, and other African and Latin American countries died at home or in hospital parking lots while waiting for hospital beds or life-saving oxygen. The world discovered a new phenomenon called vaccine hesitancy. Social media platforms were a major factor in spreading misinformation and disinformation about the virus and the vaccine. This will become a considerable public health problem for years to come and it has to be addressed systematically. In collaboration with the World Health Organization, MedGlobal conducted a vaccine hesitancy study to address the root causes of refusal to embrace the vaccine in Syria.
MedGlobal teams built Oxygen generators and procured oxygen concentrators and ventila-tors in India, Syria, Yemen, Gaza, Lebanon, Tunisia, and Sudan, including the largest oxygen generator in Sudan, which serves 5 states around the Darfur region. MedGlobal also helped to vaccinate and provide healthcare for communicable and non-communicable diseases, reproductive and child health, and mental health to the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, the Syrian refugees in Lebanon, the Venezuelan refugees in Colombia, and the victims of wars in Yemen, Syria, Gaza strip, and Sudan.
Alongside procuring medical technology, equipment, and medical supplies for underserved hospitals and health facilities, our mobile teams and primary health facilities provided healthcare to the displaced in refugee and IDP camps, and other difficult-to-reach regions in countries struck by conflict. MedGlobal started home care for the elderly, the disabled, and patients with chronic diseases, and provided life-saving medications to COVID-19 pa-tients treated at home. MedGlobal continued to focus on training the trainers in order to build resilience in local communities by teaching them to use innovative and adaptable technology like Butterfly iQ ultrasounds. Point of Care Ultrasound (POCUS) continued to be one of our signature programs.
MedGlobal impacted more than 9.8 million people in 13 countries in Latin and Central America, MENA region, Africa, Southeast Asia, and the USA, by partnering with communi-ties, providing medical equipment and technology, building capacity, providing emergency response, sustainable medical programs, and supporting resilient health systems. MedGlobal continued to build our local teams and expand partnerships with local NGOs, the UN agencies, and the World Health Organization by working through the health clusters in the countries MedGlobal support. MedGlobal was recognized by the UN and local authorities in multiple countries for our emphasis on accountability to the populations MedGlobal serves. MedGlobal thanks all of our partners, volunteers, and donors, especially the Church of Lat-ter-day Saint Charities, Stirling Foundation, and many faith, family and corporate founda-tions, and our generous individual donors.
I invite you to continue supporting this young organization in order to eliminate disparities in health and build a healthier world for all.
Thank you for your generosity,
Dr. Mohammed Zaher Sahloul