15,000 protective respirators will help medical workers in Donetsk Oblast respond effectively and safely to the COVID-19 pandemic

Photo credit: Artem Hetman / UNDP Ukraine

Kramatorsk, Donetsk Oblast, September 15, 2020 – The European Union and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Ukraine have donated a batch of 15,000 N95 valveless respirators to four medical facilities in Donetsk Oblast to help them respond effectively and safely to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The personal protective equipment was purchased at a cost of U.S. $50,476 under the UN Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme with financial support from the European Union. This was made possible thanks to the joint efforts of the EU and UN, and the ongoing partnership with European partners to help medical workers combat the pandemic and increase the resilience of medical facilities in eastern Ukraine.

The N95 respirator is designed to block up to 95% of the smallest aerosol particles and filter out viruses and bacteria. This respirator provides better protection than a surgical mask or homemade protective equipment, as it can filter both large and small air particles.

The coordinator of the Local Governance and Decentralisation Reform Component of the UN Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme, Olena Ruditch, noted that the rapid increase in the incidence of COVID-19 is leading to overload in many hospitals in the country, including eastern Ukraine.

“The proper protection of medical staff is essential to reduce the increase of infectious cases among medics, so we make every effort to ensure that medical institutions in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts are provided with such protection,” Ms. Ruditch added.

N95 respirators are designed for single use. However, unlike conventional medical masks, they fit tightly over the face and protect healthcare workers from infectious drops that they may inhale when in contact with patients, or when transporting patients to the medical facilities, or during diagnosis, and while providing subsequent treatment.

Ihor Kiiashko, Head of the Regional Centre for Emergency Care and Disaster Medicine, thanked the international partners for their systematic support in overcoming the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and building the capacity of medical institutions.

“Every day, the Emergency Medical Care and Disaster Medicine Centre receives dozens of calls from patients with fever, including a large percentage of people with COVID-19,” Mr. Kiiashko added. “The staff of the centre accompanies patients during hospitalization to medical institutions, risking their own health on a daily basis, and the new respirators will help to significantly reduce this danger.”

Four hospitals in the Donetsk Oblast received N95 valveless respirators, namely: Bakhmut Intensive Care Hospital, Kostiantynivka Infectious Diseases Hospital, Myrnohrad Infectious Diseases Hospital and the Emergency Medical Care and Disaster Medicine Centre in Kramatorsk.

A batch of N95 respirators will soon be provided to medical institutions in Luhansk Oblast as well.

Background

The United Nations Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme (UN RPP) is being implemented by four United Nations agencies: the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

Thirteen international partners support the Programme: the European Union (EU), the European Investment Bank (EIB), the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, and the governments of Canada, Denmark, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK.

Media enquiries

Maksym Kytsiuk, Communications Associate, the UN Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme, maksym.kytsiuk@undp.org, +380 63 576 1839

EU and UNDP supply protective respirators to medical workers in Donetsk Oblast, 15 September 2020

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