An aspiring physician and her mentor are creating care packages for coronavirus patients experiencing homelessness. What’s inside? A handful of hygiene merchandise, hand sanitizer, earbuds, handwritten notes, and exercise books crammed with crosswords or Sudoku.
“Individuals experiencing homelessness are facing very unique challenges in the current pandemic,” stated Haya Raef, the third-yr Tufts University medical student behind the undertaking. “They are one of the most neglected populations.”
The merchandise are collected from companies, both small and enormous, who contribute cash or immediately supply masks, toothbrushes, cleaning soap, and other merchandise. With the help of their households, Raef, her associate Dr. Jennifer Tan, and volunteers package deal the materials in moveable Ziploc baggies from house.
Then, the group launches an effort to get the kits to resource and health care centers in Maine and Massachusetts. Raef is in touch with organizations in Portland, where she lives and was researching for months before the pandemic hit. She also drives to Massachusetts every two weeks handy off kits to Tan, a dermatologist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Boston Healthcare for the Homeless.
Patients obtain the kits once they first arrive at facilities as a kind of “welcome kit,” stated Tan.
“This not only increases their access to these products,” she defined. “It’s an acknowledgment of our common humanity during this time.”
Approximately 600 packages have been distributed to websites, together with Boston Hope and local quarantine tents, since early March. More are on the best way.
Raef and Tan considered the thought in the early days of the disaster. The pair established their student-mentor relationship two years earlier when Raef was a BHCHP volunteer and have since collaborated on multiple tasks. When the pandemic halted Raef’s medical rotations in Maine, she informed Tan she didn’t need to cease helping the BHCHP’s trigger.
“I was pulled out of the hospital at this critical time,” stated Raef. “So I found another way to contribute.”
Both Raef and Tan are wanting ahead to their subsequent initiative: skin care kits for frontline staff.
Donned in head-to-toe personal protective gear for a lot of the day, health care professionals have seen an uptick in circumstances like pimples and eczema, defined Tan. Packages stuffed with over-the-counter merchandise and helpful info might be assembled and delivered.
“A lot of skin complications have arose from PPE,” stated Tan. “This could help the people who are helping everyone else at this time.”