Health agency donates breathing devices for premature babies in Ukraine
Global health aid agency Unitaid is donating 220 specialized portable breathing devices to Ukraine that can help save lives of premature babies even in frontline hospitals where there is no electrical power, the Arabnews reported, citing Reuters.
Since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine on February 24, hundreds of hospitals have been damaged or destroyed, supply lines disrupted, and newborns at risk of death or disability due to a lack of equipment and oxygen, the report said.
Herve Verhoosel, spokesperson for Unitaid, told a media briefing that the war was causing extra stress on pregnant women, leading to an increase in the number of premature births, which had tripled in some areas.
Verhoosel said that the new bubble nasal continuous positive airway pressure (bCPAP) devices are now available in 25 facilities across Ukraine.
Unitaid funds medical innovation programs mainly in poor countries, and is hosted by the World Health Organization.
WHO spokesperson Margaret Harris said that on a recent visit to a paediatric hospital close to the frontline in Ukraine she had seen medical staff who sleep in the basement every night, and constantly have to move children on ventilation machines.
US announces major new $1B military aid package for Ukraine
She told the briefing: “So having very portable devices that can function offline is absolutely critical.”
Unitaid partnered with Vayu Global Health, a non-profit that specializes in low-cost health care equipment for developing countries, to provide the Kenya-made bCPAP machines, which cost around $500 each, as well as 125 oxygen blender systems.