Homeless Person

Who is being left behind?

The poorest and most vulnerable in society are at the greatest risk of Covid-19 infection.

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a highly contagious infectious disease caused by Sars-Cov2, and it has spread quickly across the world, resulting in the ongoing 2019-20 coronavirus pandemic. There is no known pre-existing immunity, and no treatment or vaccine is available, and there is much that we still do not understand about this virus.

The number of infections and deaths have expanded exponentially, and in some places eludes our ability to control it. Of particular concern to Doctors of the World are the vulnerable people who are at greatest risk of Covid-19 infection.  That risk is especially acute for the homeless and impoverished and for migrants and asylum seekers.  Refugee camps and homeless shelters are overcrowded and lack access to water and proper sanitation.

People living in conflict settings like the DRC, Yemen or Syria are also living in crowded conditions with almost no access to healthcare, and we are particularly concerned about the ability of severely fragile health systems to handle a rapidly increasing case load of Covid-19 patients.  An outbreak of Covid-19 in these settings will be nearly impossible to contain.

Doctors of the World UK has carried out a Rapid Needs Assessment (RNA) to better understand the experiences of excluded groups at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In addition to the RNA, we have released a 20-page report outlining the study’s key themes and recommendations for removing barriers to information and healthcare. 

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