The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) handed over 220 oxygen concentrators worth $331,000 to the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination here on Friday.
The oxygen concentrators have been procured through support from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
An oxygen concentrator is a critical life-saving device used for treating patients suffering from coronavirus infection, birth asphyxia and complicated pneumonia. The oxygen concentrators received by the officials of the ministry were shipped to seven major cities, including Islamabad, for installation in public health facilities.
‘Our nationally coordinated efforts have indeed helped Pakistan to effectively tackle the pandemic so far. I am thankful to all stakeholders and partners, including the ADB and UNICEF, who have joined hands since the pandemic landed in Pakistan,’ said Dr Rana Muhammad Safdar, Director General Ministry of National Health Services.
‘We are vigilantly monitoring the evolving disease patterns as well as our health systems capacity and have mechanisms in place to best use the available resources for the purpose. Oxygen concentrators will build the capacity of our health facilities to effectively manage moderately symptomatic patients close to their place of residence and thus help in reducing load on major hospitals.’
In addition to the initial grant of $500,000, which has been utilized for acquiring personal protective equipment (PPE) and oxygen concentrators, the ADB has also provided an additional $20,00,000 to help Pakistan strengthen its efforts to combat COVID-19 pandemic.
These funds will be used to acquire life-saving medical supplies, diagnostic and laboratory facilities, and other critical equipment for communities affected by the pandemic.
‘Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the ADB moved swiftly to support the people and the government of Pakistan in responding to the challenge,’ said ADB Country Director Xiaohong Yang.