BAKU, Azerbaijan, Sept. 7
The EU and the World Health Organization (WHO) have handed over 129 oxygen concentrators and 60 pulse oximeters to Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Health, to help patients recover from severe illness due to COVID-19, Trend reports citing a joint statement of the EU, WHO, and the Health Ministry.
The equipment was procured by the WHO Regional Office for Europe, with funding from the EU, through the Solidarity for Health Initiative, said the statement.
“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,” the statement noted.
The statement added that the pulse oximeters supplied will help monitor patients by measuring their blood oxygen levels.
“As a part of Team Europe, the EU’s “Solidarity for Health Initiative” program continues to support the health system of our partner country Azerbaijan, first, through delivery of personal protective equipment, and now with essential medical devices which will help to save lives”, said Kestutis Jankauskas, Head of the EU Delegation to Azerbaijan.
“We’re very pleased that with the Solidarity for Health Initiative we’re contributing to the national efforts of and hopefully, making a difference in Azerbaijan,” said Hande Harmanci, a WHO Representative in Azerbaijan.
“Such equipment is crucial in preventing serious disease and deaths in people who need oxygen therapy. Providing appropriate care in hospitals is extremely important while we try our best to prevent transmission of the disease within the communities,” Harmanci added.
“We are grateful to our partners to receive the best type of oxygen concentrators and pulse oximeters”, said Rahim Aliyev, Deputy Minister of Health.
“These supplies from the EU and WHO to Azerbaijan will be used to treat severely ill patients with respiratory distress at designated COVID-19 treatment health-care facilities,” said Aliyev.
The EU and WHO also organized 8 face-to-face and 7 online training sessions for health care professionals, who will in turn train more health care workers on the latest methods in managing and supporting COVID-19 patients.
The donation of these critical supplies is part of the EU’s response to the outbreak of COVID-19, currently affecting more than 216 countries and territories. On 27 March 2020, the EU announced an assistance package of 30 million euros to help prevent, detect and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in six countries of Eastern Europe and the Caucasus, including Azerbaijan.
The funds are being used initially to meet immediate emergency needs, such as procuring essential supplies and training for health-care workers and frontline responders. In the longer term, the assistance will go towards strengthening the country’s capacity to respond to public health emergencies.
The project builds upon the EU’s and WHO’s ongoing support to Azerbaijan.