In response to the new challenges presented by COVID-19, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is reaching out to nursing homes and nursing schools in the United States to share our experience in epidemic response and infection prevention and control (IPC). This initiative is tied to our operations working with long-term care facilities in Michigan and Texas.
The COVID-19 pandemic is taking a heavy toll on people living in nursing homes and long-term care centers, and on essential workers in these facilities. In the US, more than 40 percent of coronavirus deaths have been linked to long-term care facilities—even though they accounted for only 8 percent of the total cases, according to an analysis by The New York Times. In 20 states, the number of residents and workers who have died accounts for at least half of all deaths from the virus.
Part of the reason behind these disproportionately high mortality rates is that many long-term care facilities were left to fend for themselves at the start of the pandemic, without personal protective equipment or adequate IPC training.
In Michigan, MSF conducted COVID-19 health education and infection prevention trainings in more than 50 long-term care facilities—including 31 nursing homes and 24 adult foster care homes—between the end of May and July 31. MSF started a new program in Texas in August to offer IPC trainings to staff and residents in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. We have also provided IPC trainings to staff in nursing homes in the Navajo Nation. These programs build on our recent experience gained during the pandemic assisting care homes in Europe and in South America.
We are making the following health education and information materials available to download. If you have questions or suggestions, please contact Marina Novack, long-term care project coordinator for MSF-USA: email@example.com.
The information included on this website reflects current knowledge and information about COVID-19 based on MSF’s operational experience and is influenced by the exceptional situation created by the pandemic. This information is provisional as our knowledge about the novel coronavirus continues to evolve. This information may be used in the absence of standard procedures and materials validated by the US Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization, however it is not intended to replace clinical guidelines or recommendations put forward by these agencies.