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Project HOPE Airlifting Aid to Front Lines of Coronavirus Fight in Wuhan

MILLWOOD, VA (January 29, 2020) – Project HOPE is mobilizing critical supplies and other support for frontline health workers in Wuhan, China, who have been battling the new coronavirus outbreak since December 2019. Project HOPE is preparing vital stocks of personal protective equipment donated by Latter-day Saint Charities—such as face masks, coveralls, and gloves—for airlift to Wuhan in the days to come.

“Personal protective equipment is often the only barrier between a doctor or nurse and the critically ill patient during a disease outbreak,” said Rabih Torbay, President and CEO of Project HOPE. “When we heard health workers in Wuhan were avoiding taking breaks on their eight-hour shifts because it would require donning a new set of protective gear from their hospitals’ dwindling supplies, we knew we had to act immediately. The items being flown to Wuhan will help replenish stockpiles in hospitals on the front lines of this outbreak, some of which Project HOPE has supported for nearly 20 years.”

Departing from Latter-day Saint Charities’ Salt Lake City and Atlanta warehouses and bound for Wuhan in the coming days, these two flights will carry a total of 220,000 face masks, 870 pairs of protective goggles, and more than 6,500 pairs of protective coveralls. Project HOPE staff in China will work with local officials to help support last mile delivery of these critical personal protective supplies to medical facilities.

Project HOPE has a long history in Wuhan, having collaborated with Wuhan University for nearly 20 years to establish the HOPE School of Nursing — one of its strongest and longest-running health workforce programs, which has trained thousands of nurses. Many of the nurses trained at the HOPE School of Nursing are now tirelessly working to screen and treat those with flu-like symptoms in hospitals in Wuhan.

Project HOPE’s team on the ground in Wuhan continues to work in close coordination with local officials to learn additional ways we can support health workers and health systems in areas affected by the new coronavirus outbreak.

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