A Surprise Gift for Brazilian Health Workers in Need

In impoverished northeastern Brazil, health workers in desperate need of medical supplies received a surprise that changed their worry into gratitude.

Second only to the U.S. in the number of COVID-19 infections worldwide, Brazil has faced supply shortages at its hospitals and health clinics that serve the neediest communities.

But here’s the good news: Brazilian health workers in need of supplies recently received surprise donations — thanks to all the generous people who have given to Compassion’s COVID-19 disaster relief efforts. Here’s an update from Compassion Brazil!

Families in need

Since the first case of COVID-19 in Brazil, one of the biggest concerns of doctors and specialists was whether the country’s health system would be able to cope with the demand for its services. Brazil has a public health system that offers medical care to the entire population. However, the service does not always have sufficient resources to cover the needs of all patients — especially those of families in the most impoverished areas.

So as the number of COVID-19 cases continued to rise in Brazil, church workers in the country grew even more concerned for the 56,541 children they serve in Compassion’s program there.

A Brazilian girl wearing pink prays with her eyes closed and hands clasped
A girl in Compassion’s program in Brazil prays.

To ensure that children and their families could receive the medical care they needed, Compassion provided $40,000 in disaster relief to help Brazil’s under-resourced hospitals and medical centers. Compassion Brazil researched which health workers had the biggest need, choosing seven hospitals in cities where Compassion’s church partners are operating and which have high numbers of COVID-19 cases.

READ: A COVID-19 Update From Compassion’s Three Regions

Health workers in need

It was an emotional scene as the first boxes of donated medical supplies were unloaded at a hospital in Patos, a city in northeastern Brazil. Eliana, a Compassion staff member in Brazil, had spoken to health workers at the hospital and knew the impact that each mask, cap, gown and sanitizer would have on the hospital.

“I was able to listen closely to the report of hospital staff and see the challenges they are facing in this pandemic period,” Eliana says. “The number of cases hasn’t stopped increasing in the region, and hospitals are fighting to serve everyone, but it is complicated,” since they are short on supplies.

Two men wearing blue scrubs and masks wheeling a cart holding nine boxes of supplies
Health workers at the hospital in Patos also serve families from several surrounding cities.

“We are immensely grateful that we were chosen by Compassion. Our hospital has been instrumental in treating suspected or infected with COVID-19 across our region, so medical supplies are essential to our work with patients.” 

— Liliane Sena, director of the hospital in Patos

Meeting the need

Among the items donated to Brazilian hospitals were personal protective equipment, including masks, caps, procedure gloves, aprons, goggles, and hand sanitizer. They also received disinfectants like bleach, sodium hypochlorite and antiseptic — materials in high demand.

A man and four nurses wearing personal protective equipment look at the camera
Emilio, a Compassion worker in Brazil, with nurses who received donated supplies.

“Donations arrived at a very opportune moment, as our region has suffered a lot from the growing number of cases. We are grateful to Compassion for the donations.”

— Rejane Moreira, Municipal Health Secretary

Thank you for continuing to meet children’s needs during the pandemic!

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