Amidst the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has provided Pakistan’s Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination (MoNH, R&C) with 1,000 oxygen concentrators and other related equipment worth $1.4m.

The donation was received in Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad, by Dr Faisal Sultan, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health, from Aida Girma, UNICEF Representative in Pakistan.

With the Delta variant causing an increased flow of hospitalised patients, Sultan praised UNICEF’s efforts in the fight against the virus, saying, “UNICEF’s timely contribution will supplement the Ministry’s continuous efforts to augment the healthcare system and provide the best possible care to all patients.”

“We value our partnership with UNICEF, which actively participates in various aspects of Pakistan’s pandemic response.”

The concentrators will be distributed across Islamabad by the MoNH, R&C to a total of 289 health facilities. Embracing the global network of health aid that has been strengthened during the past 18 months, UNICEF obtained the oxygen concentrators with funds provided by the Canadian Government’s Accelerator Supplies Financing Facility.

Girma commented on the situation of coronavirus in the country, saying, “UNICEF commends the Government of Pakistan’s enduring efforts to fight the recurrent waves of coronavirus in the country and is determined to continue its support to national response, including through the procurement and delivery of Covid-19 vaccines or life-saving medical equipment, such as oxygen concentrators.”

She also emphasised the importance of vaccinations and precautionary measures, saying that, with the Delta variant causing further infections in the country, all men and women above 18 years of age should adhere to all methods possible to mitigate the spread of the virus.

The donation marks a total of 3,065 oxygen concentrators provided to the Government of Pakistan within the past year.

In addition to this, 14 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines have been delivered to the country by UNICEF on behalf of the COVAX facility, with another 11 million expected to arrive by next month.