Public Health Donation Drive for Navajo Nation Health Clinic
Apr 20, 2020 9:00 AM
As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads throughout the United States, some communities are suffering disproportionately to their size and density. One such area is that of the Navajo Nation, a territory covering the Four Corners region of Arizona, Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico. Despite their relative isolation and aggressive testing, the Navajo people have the third-highest infection rate in the country, outside the epicenters of New York and New Jersey, and have suffered more fatalities than fourteen other states with much larger populations.
As medical supplies and resources are used to combat the pandemic, it removes resources from other areas of healthcare in the region. Particularly hard hit are Obstetric clinics, where important items such as protective equipment and diapers are in short supply.
The Division of Public Health at the University of Utah has had a long history of partnership with the Navajo Nation and faculty and staff alike have come together to provide needed medical supplies to the area. Under the direction of Dr. Kimberley Shoaf, the Division has organized an Amazon link for donations of diapers and PPE to be sent to the Kayenta Health Center in Arizona. Additionally, she discovered that many of the nurses working in Indian Health Service clinics and hospitals in the Navajo Nation are sleeping in their cars to limit their travel times and to protect their families from COVID-19. The Division has sent 50 toiletry kits to these nurses to help make their lives a little more comfortable while they battle this pandemic and provide care to this uniquely valuable and vulnerable population in our region.
“We are thankful to these amazing health care workers and hope that these kits show how grateful we are for their sacrifices,” says Dr. Shoaf of the impact of these kits.
The public is invited to contribute to the delivery of these kits by donating via Public Health’s page on Amazon.