March 31, 2020

LifeNet International Responds to COVID-19

LifeNet International


Vulnerable and underserved people in sub-Saharan Africa face some of the harshest healthcare realities in the world. Poor-quality healthcare services contribute to low life expectancy; high rates of maternal, child and infant mortality; and widespread death and disease. In times of pandemic, these negative outcomes grow exponentially. It is expected that COVID-19 will sicken and kill a devastating number of individuals in sub-Saharan Africa.

In response, IiH innovagtor LifeNet International is dedicated to saving and improving lives in the region by providing care at local, faith-based facilities where the most underserved patients often go for help. With a focus on vulnerable populations, including women and children, we ensure health workers have the knowledge and tools they need to effectively diagnose, treat, and save lives with compassion and confidence.

LifeNet International is uniquely positioned at this moment to have an immediate and lasting impact on healthcare facilities that will very soon be treating thousands of COVID-19 patients.

The organization's network of 220 faith-based health facilities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burundi, Malawi, and Uganda sees more than 2.5 million patient visits a year in a catchment area of nearly 5 million. On average, LifeNet’s training and support doubles the quality of care provided at these facilities at a programming cost of just $1 per patient visit. The organization does this by training health workers and facility managers in best practices and by ensuring good access to and management of medicines and equipment.

As COVID-19 is poised to devastate Africa in the coming weeks and months, LifeNet is ready to save lives by training, equipping, and supporting frontline healthcare workers in these 220 healthcare facilities to safely and efficiently provide high-quality medical care to all patients that arrive at their doors with COVID-19 symptoms. LifeNet’s experience in Ebola readiness in the region, years of effective infection prevention training, and expertise in health worker education primes the organization for a quick and comprehensive response to COVID-19.

Workers are currently:

  • Training staff on COVID-19 infection prevention, diagnosis, and proper treatment
  • Strengthening every health facility’s infection prevention controls
  • Providing handwashing stations
  • Supporting community education on COVID-19