When we talk about COVID-19 mitigation, we usually talk about personal protective equipment (PPE), which includes gloves, masks, and gowns. However, sometimes we take for granted that a key way to reduce risk is through proper handwashing. But for those without easy access to water, the ability to effectively wash their hands with soap is next to impossible.
One-in-three citizens of the Navajo Nation does not have indoor plumbing. And the rates of COVID-19 infection continue to hit underserved and underrepresented communities like the American Indian and Alaska Native peoples harder than the rest of the country.
Recognizing this need, Get Us PPE was fortunate enough to receive a donation of thousands of water containers. Like with many of the donations of PPE that Get Us PPE receives, logistics and transport are often extra barriers that can delay distribution.
However, Echo Global Logistics, a leading provider of technology-enabled transportation management services, was moved by Get Us PPE’s mission and donated the transportation of 56 pallets of water containers to Window Rock, Arizona, the capital of the Navajo Nation. The large containers of water can be stored in homes, which provide families without indoor plumbing easy access to clean water. This also reduces their need to leave the house to get water, lessening their chances of potentially exposing themselves to the virus that causes COVID-19.
“We are grateful to Echo for partnering with us to get thousands of water containers to the Navajo Nation,” said Dr. Shikha Gupta, executive director of Get Us PPE. “Once we connected with Echo, they did not hesitate to lend their expertise to our cause.”
“This pandemic has brought to light the inequities that have always existed in our healthcare system, and it is increasingly apparent that the COVID-19 crisis is a health equity crisis. Partners like Echo help us empower communities by getting PPE to the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic,” she said.
“We’re pleased to collaborate with Get Us PPE as they work relentlessly to source and distribute critical supplies to those most vulnerable,” said Doug Waggoner, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer at Echo. “At Echo, giving back to the community is an integral part of our culture, and we’re proud that we are able to provide aid to the Navajo Nation during this challenging time.”