While many countries across the world declare a “state of emergency”, programme managers across MAF declare a “state of readiness” to serve in this time and to continue with the mission at hand.
Mark Blomberg, MAF’s programme manager in Bangladesh, shares, “Right now, we just want to maintain a readiness and an ability to respond as needed.” And this is the attitude of MAF programmes across the globe.
As the state of the world remains uncertain and as levels of lockdown and self-isolation fluctuate with time, the need for consistency and help grows stronger, especially within Africa. This is where the mission of MAF is so important to reach the isolated for the sake of the Gospel.
Under the COVID-19 restrictions and regulations within different countries, MAF has served in several ways, each dependant on the laws and regulations within those countries. Here, we share with you a few of the ways this aviation organisation has been able to bring this much needed help.
Before any flights could successfully take place, the greatest need was to ensure safety measures and hygiene practices. MAF has implemented precautions like screening passengers we transport, wearing masks throughout the entire day and, most importantly, sanitising every single part of the plane once a flight is complete. These measures extend to also include plastic shields between the pilot and the cargo or passengers.
In South Sudan, Liberia, Indonesia and Madagascar, pilots and teams have used the MAF aircraft to transport front-line responders into areas that would be close to impossible to test otherwise. These tests have also been flown back to hospitals and testing centres to receive results and act accordingly. The most important partnership in these cases has been with the governments and response teams in these countries and the partnership continues to grow stronger.
The MAF programmes in Arnhem Land have transported 450 kg of food donated by local supermarket Woolworths into Aboriginal communities on Howard Island. This has been of great significance as it helped the Yolngu stay in their community, further preventing risk of COVID-19 exposure. Beyond this, MAF supporters united in donating a few hundred face masks to the programme, which were sent to the Laynhapuy Homelands Aboriginal Corporation to be used by local doctors, nurses, and clinicians.
MAF has transported medical supplies, personal protective equipment, testing kits and equipment and essential personnel. They have even taken the time to educate communities, who have little communication otherwise, on the dangers of COVID- 19 and safety measures, such as social distancing and hygiene practices.