AS coronavirus continues to threaten lives in the West Bank and Gaza, Project Rozana Australia has answered the Palestinian Authority (PA)’s urgent call for ventilators.
Despite the best efforts of local health authorities, the capacity of the Palestinian health system to cope with the ramifications of COVID-19 are severely impaired – underscored by longstanding challenges and critical shortages.
A total of just 322 adult ventilators were available to 4.9 million Palestinians, most of which are already in use.
But as a result of the Project Rozana Palestinian Emergency Ventilator Appeal, 20 Astral 150 hospital grade invasive ventilators from ResMed were recently secured and sent from Sydney to Israel. From there, they were then delivered to the PA’s Foreign Ministry in Ramallah for distribution to allocated hospitals.
Endorsed by the PA and the Israeli government, in coordination with the World Health Organisation, the Australian government has also played a key role.
Project Rozana founder and chair Ron Finkel explained, “We were approached directly by the Palestinian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dr Riad Maliki, with an urgent request for hospital-grade life-support invasive ventilators.
“He said that 20 are needed immediately and another 30 as soon as possible after that to prepare for the anticipated surge in COVID-19 infections.”
Maliki shared that Palestinian health authorities have advised that with the COVID-19 disease spreading, “It will be a humanitarian disaster for the Palestinian people if this vital equipment isn’t available now.
“Our existing infrastructure will be sorely tested without access to sophisticated equipment to provide the additional capacity needed to meet the inevitable surge in critical care patients.”
Established in 2013, Project Rozana is dedicated to building understanding between Israelis and Palestinians through health.
To donate, visit www.mycause.com.au/events/projectrozana.