Covid-19 Response: An Open Letter to Our Community

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Dear Seed Community

Without question, we are facing one of the most trying times in modern history as we confront the existential threat of Covid-19. The pandemic presents new and unique challenges for not only global health but for humanity. We each find ourselves navigating an environment without precedent and with few guideposts.

Arguably, Covid-19 has become the biggest challenge for generations, one that threatens to impact every individual if we allow. This pandemic, however, also brings a reminder that we are united as a global community, in our shared vulnerability, and in our response and shared commitment to tackling Covid-19 and finding ourselves on the other side of this difficult time.

For Seed Global Health (Seed), Covid-19 has underscored the importance of strong health systems and the need for a robust health workforce. Both are essential to surmounting the great health challenges of our time. Today, sadly, these challenges are now two-fold with Covid-19 layering over preexisting, persistent, and unacceptable burdens of maternal mortality, HIV, tuberculosis, malaria, or non-communicable diseases in many resource-limited settings.

At the front line are the health professionals who serve as the backbone of strong health systems. They are the ones who sound the alarm, detect the threats, and mount the response. Further, well-trained health professionals ensure that we can not only deliver quality care but provide ongoing education across the health workforce for generations. They ensure that we can problem solve and respond to crises, like Covid-19, stronger and more resilient.

In this time, Seed believes we have to lean into the crisis; our work is more important than ever. We recognize that Covid-19 may disrupt education and training in schools and upend our ways of working and interacting. Despite these challenges, we remain dedicated to honoring our commitments to our partners in Malawi, Uganda, Zambia, and Eswatini as well as scaling up our efforts to help address the threat of Covid-19 in the places we work. Together with our partners, we will seek to minimize disruption and find new ways to strengthen the health workforce and capacity of our partners. We plan to continue focusing on training, mentorship, and policy initiatives which not only help strengthen Covid-19 response but can also serve as enduring investments for primary care, maternal and child health, or emergency services.

As we continue this critical work, we are taking every precaution to safeguard the health and safety of our staff, educators, and partners. At every step, we will seek to provide them with the support that they need at the organizational and individual levels. We will respond to our partner governments’ requests to help map their Covid-19 preparedness and response.

Covid-19 is one of the greatest challenges we can face. And we will be defined as a generation and epoch by how we respond to it. We have an opportunity to rise to this occasion and unite as one global family, sharing in both our vulnerability and our commitment to ensure better health for all. Our efforts should start in our homes and communities through kindness and caring to protect each other’s health and wellbeing and our actions to social distance but not disconnect.

As we do this, we will need to find solidarity and community in news ways. We can remain connected through our common purpose and work, raising our voices across digital platforms. Using spoken and written word, we can demand something different and better for our global society through strong investments in health and education.

Together, we can advocate for and build a global community that cherishes and safeguards health for all and that we can all thrive in. Seed remains committed to this mission even in these times of challenge and uncertainty.

With gratitude,

Dr. Vanessa Kerry
CEO, Seed Global Health



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