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Global Health Thought Leadership

What China Needs Most is Global Understanding

By Charles Redding, MedShare CEO & President

By now we have all heard of the devastating impact of the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) spreading throughout China and other parts of the world. As of February 19, 2020, the World Health Organization estimates that there are over 73,000 confirmed cases globally with over 72,000 cases being reported in China.  The number of deaths associated with this virus is now at 1,870.

Many organizations around the world are rallying to send Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to China to help reduce the spread of this deadly virus.  In fact, MedShare has sent over 2.6 million surgical masks to China, thanks to the generous support of organizations like The Coca-Cola Foundation, UPS & UPS Foundation, Henry Schein and countless individuals who are volunteering and providing monetary support.  We are also gearing up to send additional PPE to China thanks to the generosity of the Herbalife Foundation and others that desire to help.

However, what China needs most right now is not just PPE, but global understanding.  I am deeply disturbed by the stories I hear about kids being bullied because they are Chinese or of Asian descent.  Even in the media I hear the Coronavirus being referred to as a “Chinese Disease,” and criticism of how the Chinese are managing this global crisis. What’s more, the current price gouging of the critical medical supplies needed to combat this outbreak raises deep ethical concerns given the severity of the current situation and the potential devastating global impact if not controlled.

Stereotyping and negatively categorizing large groups of people only leads to resentment, hatred and cultural misunderstanding.  We must resist the temptation to devalue people or overly criticize without full knowledge of the situation. MedShare continues to stand by its mission to improve the quality of life of all people and our planet. We continue to be in awe of the compassion and resilience of the people we partner with throughout the world, including China.

We stand by our core values, which include Quality, Dignity and Respect for all of the communities we serve and support. MedShare has worked with remarkable people in 100 countries around the world for over 20 years to bring healing and hope for a better future. We recognize that we all belong to a global community and must work together to develop global solutions to the challenges we face today. This can only happen if we set aside our biases. By working together and sharing information, we can stop the spread of this deadly disease and help heal humanity.


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