Ethiopia: Unicef's 380 Oxygen Concentrators Come At Right Time - Minister

ADDIS ABABA - Health Minister Dr. Lia Tadesse complimented UNICEF's support of 380 oxygen concentrators saying that the delivery has come at a time when Ethiopia needs the equipment most.

On Friday, UNICEF handed over the oxygen concentrators to the Federal Ministry of Health to support its response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Ethiopia, according a press statement the newsroom obtained.

The oxygen concentrators and their accessories were procured with funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the United Kingdom's Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO). Some 100 of the concentrators will be allocated to the recently inaugurated field hospital in Addis Ababa under St. Peter's Hospital.

"I would like to extend my deepest appreciation to the US and the UK governments for their continued commitment to supporting Ethiopia's response to the COVID-19 pandemic," said Minister of Health Dr. Lia Tadesse. "We are delighted that these concentrators have come at a time when Ethiopia needs them most. With the increasing number of COVID patients in the country, these concentrators as well as previously donated ventilators will help save lives of many that would have otherwise been lost due to COVID-19."

"Oxygen concentrators are essential in treating patients with a moderate to severe form of COVID-19," said UNICEF Deputy Representative in Ethiopia Michele Servadei. "They have come at a time when we are seeing a spike in the number of COVID-19 patients requiring oxygen support. We have no doubt that the oxygen concentrators will save precious lives, and for this, we are immensely grateful to USAID and the FCDO for their generosity."

The oxygen concentrators will not only support the treatment of patients suffering from severe forms of COVID-19, but in the long-term, they will be repurposed for the treatment of pneumonia in children, one of the leading causes of child deaths in Ethiopia.

"Today's event is a great example of the power of partnerships, which has made possible the procurement of this essential oxygen equipment. Only together will we - as partners, as countries, and together as a strong, unified global community - prevail over the coronavirus pandemic," said USAID Mission Director Sean Jones.

"The British Government has a valued partnership with the Government of Ethiopia to address the challenges of COVID-19. We look forward to continued collaboration and partnership to address this global challenge and strengthen essential health care provision," said FCDO Development Director in Ethiopia Dr. Christian Rogg. Since the COVID-19 outbreak, UNICEF in Ethiopia has allocated 1,000 pulse oximeters (used to determine how much oxygen one has in the blood) for COVID-19 treatment centers.

The Ethiopian herald September 20/2020

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