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WHO, UNDP, World Bank present Ministry of Health with ventilators

On 9 June, WHO Cambodia, UNDP and the World Bank presented the Cambodian Ministry of Health with eight ventilators and other supplies for COVID-19 preparedness and response, purchased with a loan from the World Bank.

The ventilators are the first of 185 ventilators to be purchased as part of $34 million in loans from the World Bank to the Royal Government of Cambodia for COVID-19 preparedness and response.

To assist the Ministry of Health and the World Bank with procuring supplies with this funding, UNDP, UNICEF, and UNOPS established a supply consortium under the coordination of WHO. In addition to supporting the Ministry of Health in overall coordination of the consortium’s efforts, WHO has provided technical advice and guidance on minimum standards for supplies.

“Timely provision of supplies is important to ensure that Cambodia meets the targets established in its COVID-19 Master Plan,” said Dr Li Ailan, WHO Representative to Cambodia. “To detect, diagnose, and treat COVID-19 cases, Cambodia must have the necessary supplies of laboratory, medical and personal protective equipment.”

Despite global supply chain challenges, WHO continues to assist Cambodia in procuring essential COVID-19 supplies, including personal protective equipment (PPE) and testing and diagnostics supplies. To date, WHO Western Pacific Region has provided thousands of items of PPE, including N95 masks, surgical masks, and hand sanitizer. In May, WHO donated more than 6,000 sample collection kits and RT-PCR reagents to conduct over 9,000 tests to the Ministry of Health.

Globally, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused an acute shortage of essential supplies. In response to these challenges, the UN COVID-19 Supply Chain Task Force was launched in early April. The Task Force, coordinated by WHO and the World Food Programme, is scaling up the procurement and delivery of PPE, testing and diagnostics supplies, and biomedical equipment like ventilators and oxygen concentrators. Through the UN COVID-19 Supply Chain System, a global supply portal has been established to help countries source COVID-19 supplies.

As of 22 April, WHO bought and shipped PPE to 133 countries, including more than 2.5 million surgical masks, more than 1.6 million gloves and nearly 100,000 N95 masks. Additionally, WHO has strengthened countries’ laboratory capacity by supplying 1.5 million diagnostic kits to 126 countries.

Further supplies will arrive in the coming weeks and months. Another 14 ventilators and additional diagnostics are expected to arrive next week, with further ventilators, ambulances, x-rays, further diagnostic equipment and medical consumables such as gowns, gloves and syringes to arrive in the next few months.

Editor’s note: the original photo accompanying this release is replaced with a photo.