The United States has donated 250 ventilators for intensive care units to support Egypt’s efforts to combat the coronavirus, the US embassy and the Egyptian minister of international cooperation said.
The donation of the specialised, state-of-the art equipment by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) "delivers on President Trump’s pledge to provide these critically needed supplies, and supports Egypt’s urgent response to the pandemic," the US embassy in Cairo said.
The machines are designed to treat patients experiencing severe breathing difficulties caused by COVID-19 and are intended for use at university and health ministry hospitals to help them deliver "quality, lifesaving care," it said.
As part of this donation, the US is funding a maintenance package and specialised training for medical providers.
“The COVID-19 challenge has pushed stronger cooperation between countries to meet evolving humanitarian needs. Egypt’s partnership with the United States has reflected a spirit of collective responsibility and reciprocated solidarity for the benefit of our communities,” Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat said.
In April, the government of Egypt donated a package of medical aid to the US to help with COVID-19 relief efforts.
“The donation of 250 ventilators to hospitals throughout Egypt represents the latest step in the joint efforts by Egypt and the United States to fight COVID-19. Early in the pandemic, Egypt generously provided the United States with a donation of personal protective equipment so our healthcare workers could stay safe. The innovation of American private industry has allowed us to return the favour today with these state-of-the-art, lifesaving devices,” US Ambassador to Egypt Jonathan R. Cohen said.
The Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, the Ministry of Health and USAID have identified 24 hospitals in 12 governorates that have a need for both ventilators and staff who can use them immediately to treat patients suffering from the effects of COVID-19, according to the statement.
The cooperation portfolio of the USAID in Egypt has reached more than $30 billion since 1978 in several sectors; and over $1 billion has been invested to strengthen Egypt’s health system. This includes efforts to improve maternal and child health and nutrition, eliminate infectious diseases, and educate and mobilise community health workers.
The Ministry of International Cooperation has been pushing the frontiers of multilateralism through public-private partnerships that have helped implement projects dedicated to enhancing the lives of the Egyptian people, not only to scale up the immediate health response to curb the spread of COVID-19, but to bring to the fore the urgent need to accelerate the Sustainable Development Goals, Al-Mashat said.