The United States Government has donated 40 ventilators to assist Papua New Guinea’s COVID19 operations.
When making the announcement US Ambassador Erin McKee, reaffirming the US Governments commitment to assisting PNG in the fight against COVID19, with PNG being one of many recipients that the United States is assisting throughout the course of the pandemic
To date, US 3.5 million has been provided to the PNG Government to boost the country’s capacity to prevent, detect, and eventually respond to the threat of COVID 19.
The ambassador emphasizing that it isn’t enough to prevent, but to respond.
“Through the American people’s generosity and the US governments actions, we have donated more than US$12Bn in emergency health, humanitarian, economic and development assistance to help governments, international organizations, non-government organizations, friends, allies around the world to fight this pandemic”
“Now we must respond and I hope that with the gift of these ventilators Papua New Guinea will be in a better position to care for those who may be affected and impacted by this terrible, terrible disease”
The covid19 pandemic has led to a massive shortage of essential medical goods and services, ranging from hand sanitizers to masks, bed, and ventilators. And with PNGs positive count rising rapidly, ventilators, which assist in providing oxygen for the lungs, will sorely be needed should the condition of positively identified cases of COVID 19 patients rapidly deteriorate.
The cost of a single ventilator can reach up to K150 000.
Prime Minister James Marape, acknowledging the assistance.
“Today in our nations fight against containment of COVID 19 from spreading in our country this stands as one of our greater challenge(s), if not the greatest challenge in the face of contemporary PNG challenges”.
The United States donation isn’t the first. In June, China’s Ambassador to PNG, Xue Bing, announced his Government donation of 20 ventilators and almost 5000 PPEs, to the tune of a million kina. Health Minister Jelta Wong in an April interview had said that present statistics say that PNG has roughly 1 ventilator per 600 000 people and this donation, in a country with other health concerns such as Tuberculosis, will largely be symbolic, should PNGs cases reach that, similar to what is seen globally.