Whoever you are and wherever you live, correct hygiene is a foundational step required to help stop the spread of infectious diseases like COVID-19. However, even in Canada there are those who can’t purchase hand hygiene essentials for themselves.
At the mental health unit of the Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA), where staff offers innovative services for treatment and support for those impacted by mental health and substance use issues, hygiene is a constant concern and nurses have been purchasing hygiene products for patients with their own funds. Every new case of COVID-19 is enough to reignite an outbreak, and that is why CMF is working with partners in Canada to help address gaps and barriers to infection prevention that are identified by communities.
At the VIHA Mental Health Unit, one of the nurses heard about the work of one of our partners, Soap for Hope, and reached out for help. With the support of a small grant from the Canadian Medical Foundation, our partner was able to provide jugs of products for them to have on the ward. Once patients were released, they were given Hygiene Kits (shampoo, conditioner, body wash, body lotion and soap) plus we were able to provide combs, chapstick and deodorant.
Working together so that we can all be safe!