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Covid-19 Supplies for Fitche Hospital

As COVID-19 continues to spread, Canadian Physicians for Aid and Relief (CPAR) has been working hard to help Fitche Hospital in Ethiopia get ready for the pandemic. Ethiopia is facing the same shortage of personal protective equipment, sanitizer, and ventilators as the rest of the world. Thankfully, our wonderful staff at our CPAR office in Addis Ababa have been able to procure masks, gloves, sanitizer, and oxygen tanks for Fitche Hospital. These vital supplies will help protect the hospital staff and increase their capacity to provide oxygen for patients who need it.

Initially, we faced a challenge in getting the supplies to the hospital, as it is located 112 kilometres from Addis Ababa. Thankfully, we found a creative solution. The Fitche Hospital ambulance travels regularly to Addis Ababa to transfer patients to the bigger hospitals in the capital, and then returns to Fitche empty. But no longer! Now, it will travel back to Fitche filled to the brim with much-needed supplies for the doctors and nurses who are on the front lines of combating this disease.

Early on April 14th, for the first time, our Ethiopian staff filled the ambulance with all the gloves, masks, sanitizer, and oxygen tanks it could hold and sent it on its way. As the production of personal protective equipment ramps up around the world, we hope to be able to send regular shipments over the coming weeks.

News about this pandemic changes daily and we are working hard to help our staff and the local communities prepare for it. On top of sending equipment and supplies to Fitche Hospital, we are also developing an e-learning platform to provide staff with the most up-to-date knowledge so they can be as effective as possible while treating patients who may have COVID-19. We also want to provide the 57 health centres and 297 health posts that the hospital supports with the same training, equipment, and personal protective equipment.

We are critically aware of the small window of opportunity that is available to us, given that Africa is a few weeks behind the rest of the world in terms of the spread of COVID-19. It is so important to reach as many people as we can, both urban and rural, to share the message about the importance of handwashing, social distancing, and self-isolation. Ultimately, we want to help protect Ethiopia from being hit as hard as many other countries—a goal we are working day and night to achieve.


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