UNICEF hands over essential life saving equipment to PNG Government
PORT MORESBY, 14 September 2020 – UNICEF today handed over essential life-saving equipment - eight ventilators and 20 oxygen concentrators - to the Papua New Guinea Government as part of ongoing support for the country’s COVID-19 response.
These equipment, procured by UNICEF through funding support provided by the Governments of New Zealand and Japan respectively, arrived in the country late last month and will be distributed to intensive care units of major regional hospitals around the country.
“UNICEF is extremely grateful to the Governments of New Zealand and Japan for making the procurement of these life-saving equipment possible. These are an important investment that will first and foremost, save lives, but also help strengthen the country’s health system to be more resilient to future health pandemics,” UNICEF’s Acting Representative, Judith Bruno said at a brief handover ceremony.
The New Zealand Government supported the procurement of 10 ventilators, two of which arrived in the country in June 2020. These ventilators play a crucial role in providing life-saving support to critically ill patients suffering severe respiratory distress and who are unable to breathe on their own. UNICEF will support the training of hospital ICU health workers from 10 provinces on the use of the ventilators.
The 20 oxygen concentrators supported by the Government of Japan will provide a continued source of oxygen flow to patients who have difficulty breathing. It does this by taking in air from the environment, removes the nitrogen and produces concentrated oxygen.
Ms. Bruno reaffirmed UNICEF’s commitment to supporting the Government’s COVID-19 response and highlighted that valuable equipment like these would help build a sustainable approach for treating serious respiratory illnesses as well as help prevent future health pandemics from becoming broader socio-economic crisis that could have major impacts on children and families.
“To date, with the generous support of donors and Development Partners including the Governments of Australia, Japan and New Zealand, the Global Partnership for Education, Newcrest Mining and the World Bank Financing support to the Government of PNG COVID-19 Emergency Response Project, UNICEF has also procured more than K3 million worth of personal protective equipment for front line health workers responding to COVID-19,” Ms Bruno added.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children in Papua New Guinea, visit https://www.unicef.org/png/