Doctors from California fly in to assist on Navajo Nation | KOB 4

Doctors from California fly in to assist on Navajo Nation

Chris Ramirez
Updated: April 23, 2020 06:21 PM
Created: April 23, 2020 03:10 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- Doctors from San Francisco arrived in New Mexico Wednesday night to provide help to the Navajo Nation.

The team of 21 doctors and nurses from the University of California San Francisco Medical Center will spend the next month on the Navajo Nation.

"One of the recurring narratives were-- I'm here to serve, to be flexible, to be humble, to make use of my skills in any capacity," said Dr. Sriram Shamasunder.

United Airlines flew the team to New Mexico as part its program to fly medical professionals, round trip, to places in need-- for free.

The Navajo Nation is in serious need.  If it were a state, it would be the third hardest hit state, per capita, behind New York and New Jersey.

"We come here to serve vulnerable patients and Navajo people," Dr. Sriram Shamasunder said.

More than 1,200 people on the reservation have tested positive for the virus, and nearly 50 have died.

The Navajo Nation is uniquely challenged-- with 40% of residents living without electricity, and 30% without running water.  

Navajos are acutely aware that disease has decimated their people in the past.

"I am worried about them," said Eugene TSO, 24th Navajo Nation Council Delegate. "Can't sleep, can't think right. I'm sorry."

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