The delivery of more than 100 oxygen concentrators, funded by the European Union and procured by WHO arrived in the country. The equipment enables more than 44 frontline hospitals to help patients recover from severe illness due to COVID-19. These supplies cover critical equipment needs of the most COVID-19 affected areas in Ukraine, including such regions as Lviv, Chernivtsi, Kharkiv, Ivano-Frankivsk, and Kyiv and Uman cities.
The equipment was procured by the WHO Regional Office for Europe, with funding from the EU, through the Solidarity for Health Initiative. The goods are valued at over EUR 78 000.
Oxygen concentrators are a non-invasive way of providing oxygen to patients hospitalized with COVID-19. Such supplemental oxygen is the first essential step for the treatment of severe COVID-19 patients with low blood oxygen levels and should be a primary focus for treatment.
After necessary administrative steps by authorities, the oxygen concentrators will be distributed by the WHO Country Office according to the needs of the healthcare facilities identified by the Ministry of Health of Ukraine.
All the equipment delivered has been checked to ensure it meets quality and safety standards.
“The pandemic is not over. The spread of COVID-19 in Ukraine is alarming and requires coordinated action from all. Through the Solidarity for Health Initiative, the EU and the World Health Organisation are providing emergency assistance to respond to critical medical needs. Thanks to our partnership, we were able to purchase and deliver, despite the worldwide shortage, oxygen concentrators which are essential to treat severely ill COVID-19 patients in 44 hospitals across the entire country. It is now very important to proceed urgently with the clearance of these critical supplies in order to allow frontline hospitals to benefit from them. This is part of the European Union’s #TeamEurope approach, in the context of which it is mobilising a COVID-response package of EUR 190 million for Ukraine.“ Ambassador Matti Maasikas, Head of European Union Delegation to Ukraine said.
“In the context of the Coronavirus crisis, WHO is working to maximize the availability of critical medical supplies to the most vulnerable. We are focused on fulfilling urgent requests and really appreciate that with the Solidarity for Health Initiative project we are making a difference in Ukraine. Delivery of these oxygen concentrators will be crucial in treating the most severely affected patients in the areas with the highest numbers of confirmed cases of COVID-19“, underlined WHO Representative in Ukraine Dr. Jarno Habicht.
“In response to the COVID-19 pandemic it is very important not only to respond quickly to all challenges which the health system was facing at the beginning of the crisis, but also to ensure prompt and structured response for later. Increasing the capacity of frontline hospitals in the most COVID-19 affected areas in Ukraine to treat severe cases of COVID-19 is vital as it helps to reduce the burden on health systems and support people who are bravely fighting the virus “, added Deputy Minister of Health (MoH) and Chief State Sanitary Doctor of Ukraine Dr. Viktor Liashko.
In the first phase of the project, a shipment of around one million units of personal protective equipment for 50 COVID-19 dedicated hospitals and essential supplies for 27 COVID-19 laboratories were procured and delivered.
The provision of these critical supplies is part of the European Union’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, currently affecting more than 216 countries and territories. The total COVID-19 response package from the EU for Ukraine is EUR 190 million. The funds are being used for emergency needs in healthcare, longer-term strengthening of the health sector, as well as socioeconomic recovery. Ukraine is also set to benefit from a special Macro-Financial Assistance worth EUR 1.2 billion.
The project builds upon the European Union’s and WHO’s ongoing support to Ukraine.
“Solidarity for Health Initiative” is a joint effort of the European Union and WHO Regional Office for Europe in six countries of Eastern Europe and the Caucasus – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova, and Ukraine. The project is aimed to help prevent, detect and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and strengthen the EU’s Eastern Neighbourhood’s capacity to respond to public health emergencies. The project is implemented by the WHO Regional Office for Europe and WHO country offices, in close coordination with EU Delegations, national authorities and development partners, including those in the United Nations system.
The role of the WHO Country Office in Ukraine is to support the country in creating and strengthening policies for sustainable health development. This includes providing technical guidance in public health-related issues, supporting the development of standards and guidelines, building up local relationships for efficient technical cooperation, and ensuring that public health measures are coordinated and in place during crises.
Currently, the Country Office in Ukraine is focusing its work on COVID-19 response and cooperation with the health authorities and other institutions involved in the country-level coordination, planning, and monitoring, case investigation, infection prevention and control. WHO has been supporting improving the national and regional capacities to diagnose COVID-19 via the national laboratory system, and also improving clinical standards and approaches in the country.
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