When the International Health Commission last met in late March 2020, Italy had overtaken China with the highest number of deaths from the virus, New York was bracing for a rapid increase in cases, Australia looked to be following a similar trend with a time lag of a few weeks, the clinic in Argentina had closed and the first cases of the virus had been diagnosed in Ethiopia, Eswatini and Papua New Guinea.
Much has changed in the last two and a half weeks. Some countries are faring better than expected and many are faring worse. In the unceasing coverage of death and devastation, one of the more positive images is of health workers being hailed as heroes as they turn up to work each day, putting their own lives at risk as they care for the sick and dying. We thank the IHC members, who in their personal and professional capacities, are playing an important part in the fight against COVID-19, some within their local geographic contexts and others internationally in their role as global health experts. We thank them also for the technical assistance provided to the MSC health missions.
As we battle this global pandemic in each of our health missions around the world, we are even more strongly connected to one another. Our mission is to be the face and hands of Jesus, to heal the sick and so play our part in healing the world. Never has our message of hope been more important than now. We are praying for each of you and those for whom you care.
May you be strengthened by our love, and the hope and joy of the resurrection this Easter season.
Chair, International Health Commission