Médecins sans Frontières wants to step up its aid efforts in France, as the European nation is facing a continuing increase in COVID 19 cases.
Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), the humanitarian aid organization founded in Paris, made a public appeal to doctors and paramedics on Wednesday to ask for help. In a statement, the international nonprofit organization stated that additional help was needed to support nursing homes and homes in the Paris region and pointed to a “blatant shortage” of medical personnel.
“More staff is needed to ensure that residents receive dignified care adapted to their specific needs (whether or not they have COVID-19), comply with health protocols, communicate with hospitals and provide palliative care when needed,” MSF said in its statement. The organization is seeking new participants as it works to expand an existing initiative to support French nursing homes.
“Although our program will initially focus on nursing homes in the Paris area with which we are already in contact, we are also looking at how we can extend our support to other regions,” said Jean-Hervé Bradol, a physician involved in the existing initiative to support nursing homes, on Wednesday.
We have been working in 56 nursing homes in #France since April 2020.
We have seen that residents and staff are often left to their own devices in sometimes difficult situations.
ð¨Nursing The homes need more medical staff to provide adequate care. https://t.co/jvqFPwKKS3
– MSF International (@MSF) November 12, 2020
He explained that additional medical staff will enable the organization to expand its program and increase its ability to provide physical care, psychological support and medical equipment. The expanded program also aims to secure personnel who can provide guidance to facilities to help contain COVID-19 transmission among residents and develop security protocols for visitors.
Since April, just before the outbreak of the pandemic, MSF has sent teams to support the COVID-19 response efforts of several nations. In France, the organization set up a program that has provided medical assistance to 56 nursing home facilities to date.
In the United States, it ran limited programs between April and October, giving priority to people without access to medical care. The organization’s teams worked with local officials and community organizations throughout the United States to establish programs in Florida, Michigan, New York and Texas, as well as other parts of the Southwest and Puerto Rico. The programs provided resources for rural workers, indigenous communities, people without stable housing, and, in some states, residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities.
On Wednesday, a MSF spokesperson told Washington Newsday that the organization’s US initiatives were no longer active.
France is one of several European countries where there has been a strong resurgence in COVID-19 cases over the past two months. The country entered a second national lockdown in the last days of October, when health officials reported a record daily increase in new infections and ICU capacity was approaching 60 percent. When French President Emmanuel Macron announced the lockdown on October 28, he estimated that the protocols would remain in place until December, but pointed out the possibility of an additional extension if the outbreak persisted.