South Sudan gets 160 oxygen concentrators from UK

A member of South Sudanese Ministry of Health Rapid Response Team takes a nasal sample from a woman at her home after recently coming into contact with a confirmed COVID-19 coronavirus case in Juba, South Sudan on April 14, 2020. PHOTO | AFP 

What you need to know:

  • The donation was done though WHO and UK’s Department for International Development (DFID). 

The United Kingdom and the World Health Organization (WHO) on Saturday handed over 160 oxygen concentrators to South Sudan to support the country in its fight against Covid-19.

The donation was done though WHO and UK’s Department for International Development (DFID). 

Speaking during the handover ceremony over the weekend in Juba, Mayen Machut Achiek, the Undersecretary at the Ministry of Health, said the concentrators will be distributed across the country. 

“We are grateful to receive the best type of oxygen concentrators. They will be used to treat severely ill patients with respiratory distress at designated Covid-19 treatment health-care facilities” he said.

For his part, British Ambassador to South Sudan Chris Trott said the UK is pleased that its multilateral contributions to the WHO are making a difference in South Sudan. 

“Preventing transmission of the disease in the first place is key but these oxygen concentrators will be crucial in treating the most severe cases. Oxygen is usually the first resource to run low during a respiratory emergency,” the envoy said.

Meanwhile, Olushayo Olu, WHO Representative for South Sudan, said the machines will be used to support the country's fragile healthcare system. 

“Covid-19 has presented an overwhelming public health challenge stretching the already fragile healthcare system in South Sudan”, he said.

“These machines come with the basic accessories for the delivery of oxygen therapy, and if well maintained can be used to save lives from other diseases in the longer term after Covid-19 pandemic,” he added.

There is a severe shortage of medical oxygen in South Sudan. Bedside oxygen concentrators, uninterrupted electricity required to run them is also scarce in South Sudan.

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