[Source: The Lancet, full page: (LINK). Summary, edited.]
The COVID-19 response for vulnerable people in places affected by conflict and humanitarian crises
Published Online May 1, 2020 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)31036-9
David Nott, firstname.lastname@example.org, David Nott Foundation, London W11 4QA, UK
Next year I will have worked full time in the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) for 40 years. I seem to be a survivor not only from the political rollercoaster that various governments have enacted on the NHS, but also from volunteering my surgical skills in places affected by conflict and natural disasters for the past 25 years. The experiences of the patients I have served whose lives have been impacted by war, injustice, and inhumanity during this time have given me insight into what life is really about. Every person on this planet has a right to live and survive by whatever means possible. Having seen the adverse health impacts of conflict and humanitarian disaster on patients, I understand the mass movement of unprotected people from war to places of relative calm. Many of the estimated 70·8 million forcibly displaced people worldwide live in insanitary and inhospitable conditions,1 sometimes up to six families living in one tent in a 3 m2 area.2 At a time when so many people are living under lockdown because of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, it is important to highlight the dreadful conditions that displaced people endure, which I have personally witnessed in refugee camps throughout the world. Apart from difficult living conditions in these camps, many people share one latrine and washing facilities and hundreds queue for food every day.3 People tolerate such conditions because they want to live. They have been forced to live this way by inhumane acts in conflict and authoritarianism.
Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; Society; Poverty; Wars.