Three months since we decided to pause most of our field activities, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the global population at different levels and with diverse impacts. Circumstances have been unique for each country in which we work. International travel is largely impossible and we are adapting to operating without face-to-face activities in the communities where we work. Some of our project sites remain effectively closed while in others we are preparing for restarting field activities. From this point, operational decisions will be considered on a case-by-case/country-by-country basis.
Maintaining our core values
Preserving the safety and wellbeing of our staff and community remains our utmost priority. We only work in communities with both the approval of the local government and also of the communities themselves. No activities will recommence without consultation with both relevant government and health authorities and community leaders to ensure thorough understanding and acceptance of any work we plan to undertake.
Our key focus
While COVID-19 has attracted most attention and resources, we should not lose sight of our commitment to protecting communities against the spread of mosquito-borne diseases. It’s important that we encourage preventive measures to help protect communities now while health systems are vulnerable and as many of the regions in which we work enter into a dangerous dengue season.
While the pause to operations has shifted planning and timelines of projects to an extent, our long-term ambition remains the same. We’ll continue our work to find adapted approaches to implement our Wolbachia methodology whenever and wherever possible and in strict compliance with restrictions to public gatherings and social distancing measures. It is our intention to meet objectives in all existing project sites and that plans to extend our reach to highly burdened communities continue to move forward.