Oxygen concentrators are used to supply 90-95% pure oxygen to people suffering from any condition that causes the oxygen levels to drop too low. These devices are crucial for the treatment of COVID-19 patients and are often used after operations to ensure a steady supply of concentrated oxygen to the patients.
However, there were only a few oxygen concentrators available in Sierra Leone, as the Aid Pioneers e.V. team members learned while traveling to Freetown in February to gain a better understanding of the Sierra Leonean healthcare system.
Ibrahim Mansaray, pharmacist head of 34 Military Hospital indicated that although oxygen concentrators were the most urgently needed equipment, the hospital was unable to fund their procurement. Aid Pioneers e.V., therefore, identified the supply of oxygen concentrators as the most effective way to help the 34 Military Hospital to treat more patients and thereby improve Sierra Leoneans’ access to healthcare.
With the support of Apotheker Helfen e.V., who provided 10.000 EUR of the 11.500 EUR that were needed to buy the oxygen concentrators, the 34 Military Hospital is finally equipped with vital medical devices.
“These are life-saving devices, critical to helping patients heal after surgery and treating respiratory illnesses of all kinds. There are only a handful of ventilators in Sierra Leone, and even fewer oxygen concentrators – making the need acute. This delivery also coincided with the opening of a 100-bed pediatric unit at 34 Military Hospital, equipping their new wing with the equipment necessary to treat children”. – Michael Pusic, Aid Pioneers e.V. team member and former Senior Advisor to the Mayor of Freetown. Michael was responsible for identifying the need for oxygen concentrators, and liaising between the hospital, the vendor, and the funding team at Aid Pioneers e.V.
The first cooperation with the Military 34 Hospital and Apotheker Helfer e.V. developed in the course of Aid Pioneers e.V. organizing high quantities of life-saving medical goods (more than 30.000 items worth over 100.000 USD) including important medical equipment for skin transplantations in response to the devastating fuel tanker explosion in Wellington, Sierra Leone last year.
To conduct this project, Aid Pioneers e.V. was fortunate to be joined by a team member with extensive knowledge of the medical landscape in Sierra Leone due to his previous engagement as Senior Advisor to the Mayor of Freetown. He was responsible for identifying the need for oxygen concentrators, and communicating with the hospital, the vendor, and the funding team at Aid Pioneers e.V.
Also during a visit to Freetown, Sierra Leone in February this year, four Aid Pioneers e.V. team members from Germany got the chance to visit the hospital themself, talk to the doctors, pharmacists and nurses and learn about the great work they do every day. Aid Pioneers e.V. got a tour of the whole hospital and visited the wards that are about to open this year to treat many new patients.
Aid Pioneers e.V. is currently planning a shipment of important medical goods to Sierra Leone for the end of this year to further support the Military 34 Hospital and many other hospitals in the area.
Aid Pioneers e.V. would like to thank our partners in Sierra Leone and are very excited to see what the future holds for our cooperation.