In 2017, the raised fist in Mexico symbolized the unity and courage to overcome the great earthquake. The same happened in 1985: hands in chains moving debris, carrying water, bringing food, carrying the wounded. With the health contingency of covid-19 in 2020 it was different. How to be supportive when the main measure to stop contagions was to stay at home? How to help without touching? The answer came from organized civil society: moving from the raised fist that helps to the hands that donate.
18 years ago, the IMSS Foundation was born primarily for research, but in 2020 it was reconverted into a fund-raising institution for the pandemic: A solidarity arm of Social Security. Why do I say it? Because during the pandemic there were many who looked to the IMSS to donate, but we had a problem: we could not receive donations. Hence, all those who knocked on our door were redirected to the Foundation, so that the help was useful, of quality, with order and transparency.
The help was useful, because it was received at the times when it was most needed to offer personal protective equipment, N95 masks, surgical masks, KN95 masks, coveralls, gowns, goggles, gloves, mouth covers, caps, masks. In addition, medical equipment such as invasive ventilators, vital signs monitors, hospital beds, red cars, among others, were received.
In addition, the help was from everyone: artists, athletes, politicians and business friends. In 2020 more than 200 companies and dozens of Mexican men and women will remain in the memory of the supportive Mexico that we are and that allowed us to receive 1,187 million pesos in donations. It is not just any number. To give us an idea of the magnitude, from 2003 to 2019, the Foundation raised approximately 765 million pesos. In other words, in 2020 alone the figure was 422 million higher than what had been received in all of history.
The donations were made with order and transparency because having received the support through the IMSS Foundation formalized the process and gave us another strength: certainty through its corporate governance made up of assembly members and notable members of its board of directors that strengthen the work .
Finally, quality was ensured in all donations because, without exceptions, institutional protocols were followed and all medical supplies and personal protective equipment went through the technical control of supplies by the IMSS.
What did we learn? That there must be a lot of Foundation in the IMSS and a lot of IMSS in the Foundation. Each one doing their part and making up for lost time, working on a joint agenda and addressing shared concerns. The challenge is to move from a Foundation that privileges only donations for scientific research, to one that also promotes humanitarian solidarity.
As I write: The governor of Chiapas, Rutilio Escandón Cadenas, announced that on Wednesday, August 11, vaccination against Covid-19 will be opened to people over 18 years of age. Initially, it will be in four macro-centers in Tuxtla Gutiérrez (Caña Hueca, Unach, Unicach and the Panchón Contreras stadium). While in Tapachula it will be held at the City Theater and the Coexistence Center.