British organisations deliver respirators to Palestine to support COVID-19 response

The International Medical Education Trust 2000 (IMET2000) and Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP), supported by the British Consulate General, today delivered 15 Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) respirators to the Ministry of Health (MoH) in Ramallah. 

Most of those contracting COVID-19 remain asymptomatic or suffer only very mild symptoms. However, some develop severe breathing difficulties leading to hospitalisation. University College London (UCL) developed, and Mercedes High Performance Powertrains manufactured, a highly effective CPAP respirator which is now being used in 106 hospitals in the UK. These respirators deliver oxygen under pressure, enabling many patients to recover without intrusive ventilation. For many patients this is better than ventilation, and it allows ventilators to be used for the most seriously ill patients. 

The IMET2000 Palestinian medical team will now train doctors and nurses in the five West Bank hospitals which will receive the respirators, abiding by MoH guidelines to minimise the risk of transmission of COVID-19.  The training will be in Dura and Alia Hospitals in Hebron, Military Hospital in Nablus, Hugo Chavez Hospital and the Palestinian Medical Complex in Ramallah.

Nine more respirators will soon be shipped for hospitals in Gaza. The MAP office in Gaza will also distribute hygiene kits to quarantine centres, antiseptic and disinfectant materials to hospitals and health clinics, and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for frontline health workers.

The PA Minister of Health, Dr Mai Kaileh, and the President of the Palestinian Society of Anaesthesia & Intensive Care, welcomed donation of the respirators. Dr. Kaileh, said: “We want to thank the British Consulate, MAP and IMET for this donation, which comes at a critical time, as we are seeing a significant rise in the cases of COVID 19 among the West Bank and we are preparing for another wave of cases during winter.”

Philip Hall, the British Consul General in Jerusalem, said: “The UK is delighted to be supporting the Palestinian Authority’s response to Covid-19, providing support for healthworkers’ salaries, and for WHO, UNICEF and UNRWA. These respirators reflect the best of British design and Formula 1 manufacture.”

Aisha Mansour, MAP’s director in the West Bank, said: “With cases of COVID-19 continuing to spread in the West Bank, the CPAP devices have arrived at a critical time, helping ensure the Ministry of Health can respond to the pandemic and save the lives of as many Palestinians as possible.”

Professor Colin Green, Founder of IMET2000 and Director of Overseas Development, said: “We have been extremely lucky to work with the Director of Healthcare Engineering at University College London, Professor Rebecca Shipley, who designed this UCL-Ventura CPAP respirator. It has now been used successfully in 106 different hospitals and on thousands of patients. The National Health Service purchased 10,000 of these respirators because they proved so good. Prof Shipley is a Trustee of IMET2000 and we are enormously grateful for her help in allocating these respirators to us for Palestine.”

If you would like to support MAP’s emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the occupied Palestinian territory and Palestinian refugee communities in Lebanon you can donate online today, or take on our “Give Up To Stand Up For Palestine” challenge event starting on 28 September.

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