Skopje, 29 May 2020 (MIA) – UNICEF delivered the first seven out of ten ventilators which are being donated for health care institutions in North Macedonia. The first batch of ventilators will be delivered to intensive care units treating COVID-19 patients throughout the country.
“I would like to thank UNICEF for this truly significant donation to our health care system. They donate seven respiratory machines, which can be used to treat both adults and children. Our cooperation with UNICEF covers many fields. First of all, in the field of children’s health. We have talked with the UNICEF Representative many times about improving children’s health, their protection, but this situation with COVID-19 has changed all the circumstances, changed the priorities in all health systems in the world, as well as in our country. In that regard, this support is very important. These are machines that are modern and the pinnacle of technology. They give all the possibilities for ventilation. I sincerely hope that they will not be needed, but they significantly strengthen our health system. They will be distributed to intensive care units, where patients are treated. In that sense, the respiratory machines are an upgrade in the quality of health care that patients who need this type of treatment will be able to receive,” said Health Minister Venko Filipche.
Valued at over $215,000 USD, the donation of the latest generation of ventilators – Evita Infinity V500 Ventilators, purchased from the German manufacturer Draeger – are both for invasive and non-invasive therapy and can be used to treat both children and adults. Simply put, they take over the body’s breathing process when disease has caused the lungs to fail giving the patient time to fight off the infection and recover.
“Now more than ever we see the importance of strengthening health systems. First and foremost, to save lives, but also to prevent a health crisis from becoming broader socio-economic crisis having a major impact on children and families. Globally, we see, the outbreak is claiming lives and livelihoods as health systems buckle, and measures introduced to prevent the spread have schools closed and families struggling,” said Patrizia Di Giovanni, UNICEF Representative. “While we strengthen other systems to be more resilient to crisis, we must ensure continued investment in health system strengthening to prevent health crisis from becoming a child-rights crisis. Only by working together can we ensure that every child is healthy, safe and learning, no matter what challenges countries face.”
As part of the COVID-19 pandemic response, UNICEF is supporting the Government in its efforts to reduce the impact on children and families. In addition to supporting health system strengthening as part of the regular cooperation with the Ministry of Health, UNICEF is also providing additional supplies of personal protective equipment and n-CoV-2 testing kits; supporting the establishment of tele-health counselling services for home visiting nurses and a helpline for pregnant women and mothers with newborns; distributing hygiene packs to the most vulnerable communities; supporting the development of risk communication material and community engagement activities, supporting psychosocial support for children and families, working to improve immunization and in other areas.
UNICEF has over seventy years of experience in responding to crisis situations and providing the necessary assistance when it is most needed, with a global network of more than 1,000 medical suppliers, the biggest humanitarian warehouse in the world, strong global and local partnerships and supporter.