Picture: An example of training as part of an awareness campaign in the fight against the deadly disease Peste des Petits Ruminants In our work in Ethiopia these types of awareness campaigns are part of every project dealing with epidemics.

The corona virus is omnipresent – we, too, have had to completely reorganise our working methods in recent weeks. We are aware of the global impact of this epidemic, but will continue our work to continue to protect vulnerable people and animals in the best possible way. We know that the already difficult conditions of the people we work for are made even more difficult by the coronavirus, and we are doing everything we can to stand by them during this difficult time.

At the same time, this pandemic demonstrates the far-reaching possibilities of our work: The outbreak of the coronavirus demonstrates how close the relationship between animals and humans is, but also the considerable risks that zoonoses can pose to public health. Our One Health approach – healthy animals, healthy people, healthy environment is now more important than ever. The trainings that we conduct in all our projects to raise awareness of such diseases enable us to make a further contribution to the welfare of animals and humans.

VSF-Suisse follows strict internal guidelines for emergency preparedness, which are implemented at our headquarters, country and project level. In response to the virus, for example, we have reduced to a minimum activities that endanger staff and our beneficiaries. We also meet the requirements of the governments of the countries in which we work and monitor the situation daily.

Covid-19 challenges all of society. It is important to be aware of the danger of the virus. Nevertheless, it is important to look to the future with hope and do our best to slow down the outbreak of the virus with the measures available to us.