Five hospitals have been equipped with new oxygen concentrators in Moldova
15 July 2022
„To save a life you don't have to wait any longer for an available ICU bed”
After two years of fighting continuously against COVID-19, Elena is now confident that she can save more lives and is prepared to face a new wave of SARS COV-2 infections. She made this statement after the Cahul District Hospital, where she has been working for almost 20 years, was equipped with 20 oxygen concentrators. The medical equipment was offered by UNICEF Moldova with the financial support of USAID. The donation covers a total of 55 oxygen concentrators worth over USD 40,000, which were distributed also to hospitals in Taraclia, Ceadir-Lunga, Vulcanesti, Cantemir.
„Now I can use the concentrators with confidence. I'm more reassured that I have the needed equipment to work with, and I am not empty-handed anymore" Elena Jerebețchi, Head of Emergency Care Unit, Cahul District Hospital
Elena dreamt of becoming a doctor since her early childhood, when she saw her aunt in her clean white coat, always ready to help others. Though she had to walk through the fire of COVID-19 pandemic and cope with many other challenges, Elena doesn't regret for a moment the path she chose.
„I have never wanted to do anything else, in spite of the very challenging last few years. There were times when half of the Emergency Care Unit staff were sick with COVID-19, receiving treatment either in hospital or at home. A nurse died five days after getting infected with COVID-19 while working in the ICU. Hence, the health workers, who were not tested positive, had to work long hours," she adds.
Cahul District Hospital is a strategically important healthcare facility, treating COVID-19 patients in the South region of Moldova.
„COVID-19 patients, some of them in critical condition, from four districts were referred to us. That's because those hospitals did not have enough equipment to cope with the crisis. But at the beginning, we didn't have much equipment either," says the doctor.
Besides shortage of medical staff, the lack of oxygen breathing equipment was one of the biggest obstacles affecting the treatment of COVID-19 patients, which resulted in many lives lost.
„Thanks to these concentrators, patients no longer need to be referred to ICU to ensure an optimal oxygen saturation. Unfortunately, we do not have a centralized medical oxygen delivery system, and the use of oxygen balloons is very dangerous. They need to be changed twice or three times a day and are quite heavy.
That is why the new devices that operate for many hours, use the ambient oxygen, and deliver the optimal level of concentrated oxygen are a boon for both patients and doctors.
To save a life, you don't have to wait any longer for an available ICU bed. Unfortunately, we lost many in-patients. We had critical patients who could not be connected to machines because the ICU was overcrowded," says Elena, Head of the Emergency Care Unit at Cahul District Hospital.
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, UNICEF Moldova has provided strengthened support to Moldovan healthcare facilities to cope with the public health crisis. A total of 75 oxygen concentrators were donated, worth over USD 77,600, of which 55 concentrators were purchased with the financial support of USAID.