Addis Ababa, 18 September 2020 – UNICEF has today handed over 380
oxygen concentrators to the Federal Ministry of Health to support its
response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Ethiopia. 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 and 6,000 non-COVID related pulse oximeters.
In addition, UNICEF has provided personal protective equipment for the over
200,000 health workers in Ethiopia in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.