Samaritan's Purse Airlifts Emergency Field Hospital to the Bahamas; Adding Critical Covid-19 Capacity as Positive Cases Continue to Rise

BOONE, N.C., Oct. 15, 2020—At the request of the Bahamian Prime Minister, Samaritan’s Purse is deploying an Emergency Field Hospital to Nassau after an increase in COVID-19 cases has overwhelmed the local healthcare system. With more than 2,000 active cases across the islands, hospitals have been inundated with patients suffering from the coronavirus. Princess Margaret Hospital in Nassau is full, and they have shut down medical transfers from neighboring islands. Samaritan’s Purse is coming alongside Bahamian healthcare workers, providing additional support as they continue the fight against the devastating COVID-19 virus.

Today, the international Christian relief organization will airlift more than 14 tons of critical relief supplies—including the specially outfitted 28-bed field hospital and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)—on its DC-8 aircraft. The cargo plane will also transport a team of Samaritan's Purse doctors, nurses and key staff members. In addition to providing added capacity, these medical personnel will partner with Nassau's Princess Margaret Hospital and the Bahamian Ministry of Health to provide Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) trainings for national healthcare workers, many of whom have been infected by the virus—further exacerbating the country’s need for medical assistance.

“Hospital staff are overwhelmed and exhausted as the number of coronavirus patients in the Bahamas reaches an all-time high,” said Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan's Purse. “Our teams respond to the hard places in Jesus’ Name; this is the right place to go to make a difference in the lives of hurting families.”

The response comes six months after Samaritan’s Purse simultaneously deployed two Emergency Field Hospitals to New York City and Cremona, Italy to treat COVID-19 in the epicenters of the virus at that time. Medical staff cared for more than 600 patients at the nearly identical 68-bed respiratory care units while reminding them that they were not alone or forgotten.

Media Opportunities

  • Interview Edward Graham, assistant to the vice president of programs and government relations, Samaritan’s Purse
  • Interview Dr. Elliott Tenpenny, team lead on the way to the Bahamas
  • Interview Megan Vitek, response manager based at international headquarters
  • High-quality photos and b-roll of the DC-8 being loaded
  • High-quality photos and b-roll of the Emergency Field Hospital around the world
  • High-quality photos and b-roll of Hurricane Dorian disaster relief
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This marks the organization's second Emergency Field Hospital deployment in the Bahamas. After Hurricane Dorian hit last year, Samaritan's Purse opened a 40-bed field hospital on Grand Bahama and distributed life-saving supplies in the hardest-hit areas. Samaritan's Purse established a country office in the Bahamas to meet ongoing needs that resulted from the storm and continues to distribute clean water and restore homes damaged by the hurricane.

Based in Boone, North Carolina, Samaritan's Purse responds to the physical and spiritual needs of individuals in crisis situations—especially in locations where few others are working. Led by President and CEO Franklin Graham, Samaritan’s Purse works in more than 100 countries to provide aid to victims of war, disease, disaster, poverty, famine and persecution. For more information, visit SamaritansPurse.org.

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