Adventist humanitarian agency steps in as health systems reach a breaking point.
The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) delivered a new oxygen production system to Metas Adventist Hospital, Surat in India to ramp up critically needed oxygen production at one of the largest Adventist hospitals treating COVID-19 patients.
The system, known as a Pressure Swing Absorption Generation Plant (PSA), was airlifted from Italy and is being installed at the 300-bed facility located in the state of Gujarat in western India. This new system will provide 600 liters (158 gallons) of medical-grade oxygen per minute, 24-hours a day, to treat critically ill COVID-19 patients. The recent devastating second surge of COVID-19 cases has caused severe oxygen shortages, overwhelming medical facilities throughout India.
“The COVID-19 outbreak has pushed the health systems to a breaking point,” Weston Davis, ADRA country director in India, said. “Hospitals are operating near or beyond capacity. Many people have been struggling and dying due to a lack of medical oxygen. We are grateful to provide the new oxygen plant, which will now assist in saving more lives. This plant will ensure that the hospitals will depend much less on outside suppliers.
“Please continue to pray and help the people in this region,” Davis added. “ADRA will keep on working with the Adventist Church, the Adventist health-care systems, and other trusted partners to expand and mobilize humanitarian relief to combat the urgent situation.”
ADRA plans to install additional oxygen generation plants in medical facilities in Pune and Delhi and has already delivered hundreds of medical supplies, including PPE kits, ICU beds, and oxygen concentrators. The international relief agency has been responding to the alarming crisis since the new COVID-19 outbreak was first reported in April 2021. It is monitoring six Adventists hospitals in Surat, Ranchi, Pune, Kerala, Bangalore, and Nuzvid to strengthen the medical capacity and improve care, and collaborating with the NGO Doctors for You, as well as the Indian government, to manage COVID-19 vaccination centers in Patna (Bihar) and Delhi.
The humanitarian agency is also scaling up operations in other COVID-19 hot spots in Asia, preparing to aid major hospitals in Sri Lanka and Nepal as the deadly virus surge spreads in the region.
According to health officials, India’s COVID-19 variant has spread to several districts within Nepal and Sri Lanka, affecting people between 20 and 44 years old. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates the new surge has spiked the number of confirmed cases in the region to more than 28 million people and increased the death toll to more than 340,000 since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, with the total increasing daily.
“Despite the travel restrictions, security concerns, and lockdowns prompted by the rapid rate of infections,” Leighton Fletcher, ADRA country director in Nepal, said, “our ADRA team on the ground has been assessing the situation and coordinating humanitarian efforts to provide desperately needed oxygen concentrators, hospital beds, emergency operation lights, bedside monitors, and PPE kits to hospitals in Nepal.
“ADRA plans to expand COVID-19 treatment support and will continue caring for women and children by mobilizing nurses and psychological counselors to maintain the reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health support in the local Nepalese community,” Fletcher said.
In Sri Lanka, ADRA is working with public health offices to identify urgent needs in districts and cities most affected by COVID-19. To ease the medical equipment and oxygen supply shortages, ADRA will be supporting two major hospitals in the Gampaha district by delivering critically needed oxygen concentrators, hospital beds, patient monitors, and protective equipment.
The original version of this story was posted by the Adventist Development and Relief Agency.