On November 25, 2020, U.S. Chargée d’affaires, a.i. Alyson Grunder presented eight bedside oxygen concentrators to Minister of Health Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah at Liberia’s Ministry of Health.
The bedside oxygen concentrators were purchased through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) program. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), and the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) collaborated with the Government of Liberia (GOL) to bring these important medical devices to Liberia. An oxygen concentrator receives, purifies, and distributes air for those who have a low level of oxygen in their blood. They are instrumental in treating some patients infected with COVID-19 as well as patients with other health impairments.
The concentrators will be distributed to health facilities around Liberia. Two units will go to the new COVID-19 treatment facility in Monrovia. Two will go to the John F. Kennedy Medical Center to support its intensive care unit. Two more concentrators will go to Redemption Hospital, and the final two will go to Partners in Health (PIH) facilities in Maryland County.
At the event, acting U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S. CDC) Country Director Dr. Denise Allen, PIH Executive Director Dr. Maxo Luma, and USAID Health Office Director Jessica Healy also gave remarks.
Building on decades of partnership and collaboration with the GOL, USAID/Liberia’s health program seeks to improve the health status of all Liberians, especially the most vulnerable: women, girls, newborns, children under age five, including Ebola survivors and those impacted now by COVID-19. USAID pursues this goal through interventions that support the GOL’s Investment Plan for Building a Resilient Health System in Liberia 2015-2021.
The U.S. CDC began implementing malaria interventions in Liberia in 2007 under the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative. In 2014, the U.S. CDC expanded its focus to support the government of Liberia’s 2014-2016 West Africa Ebola outbreak response. The U.S. CDC continues to work closely with the Ministry of Health and National Public Health Institute of Liberia to strengthen laboratory, disease surveillance, emergency management and workforce capacities to respond to disease outbreaks in support of the Global Health Security Agenda.