The Canada-Ukraine Foundation (CUF) announced on October 1, 2021, a donation to help fight the impacts of COVID-19 in Ukraine, particularly hard hit by the fourth wave of the global pandemic. Together with partners League of Ukrainian Canadians, Dnipro-Oshawa Fund at BCU Foundation, and the Ukrainian National Federation, CUF committed a $30,000 CAD donation to support the “Oxygen for Life” Phase 2 program mounted by Kyiv-based civil society organization Initiative E+.
Transparency International has noted an acute shortage of hospital beds in Ukraine, with many COVID-19 patients not receiving required oxygen support, being discharged with low oxygen-saturation levels, and without provision of oxygen concentrators for self-management, due to shortages of equipment.
Kyiv-based Initiative E+, which specializes in humanitarian and charitable work across Ukraine, created the “Oxygen for Life” program at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, aiming to dramatically improve the lives of vulnerable patients recovering from COVID and other respiratory comorbidities. Supported by community volunteers, Initiative E+ operates an oxygen therapy support and exchange program with the goal of addressing critical equipment shortages, and assisting patients recovering from COVID-19. The project is particularly designed to support remote communities and vulnerable populations struggling with limited access to oxygen therapy support.
CUF’s sponsorship will allow Initiative E+ to procure twenty oxygen concentrators, thus boosting its inventory of the life-saving devices by fifty percent.
Direct beneficiaries of this project will include hospitals and rural ambulatory clinics, seniors with difficulty accessing medical care, patients recovering from COVID in remote areas or with respiratory comorbidities, and long-term care residents.
“The monumental effort and delivery of oxygen and life-saving equipment from the Canada-Ukraine Foundation is desperately required,” stated Dr. John M. Quinn V, MD, MPh, PhD, expert in health diplomacy and health security, and Alumnus Scholar at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies. “The unfortunate vaccine hesitancy and scattered vaccine uptake against COVID-19 evidenced with the well-below-target penetrance in almost all regions make the Delta/Delta+ variants major threats to health and growing risk to a never-ending pandemic crisis in Ukraine. The requirement for life-saving oxygen therapy throughout ICUs, hospitals and clinics can be filled with the stopgap of oxygen concentrator support.”
CUF’s goal is to support, fund and manage humanitarian, economic development, governance, and rule of law projects that focus on Ukraine. Its humanitarian missions support a reinforcement of Ukraine’s medical reform and sustainable medical development. CUF’s medical initiatives favour local projects that provide immediate assistance, benefit the most vulnerable, and will have a lasting impact. Accordingly, all equipment obtained through CUF’s sponsorship will be donated to Ukrainian medical facilities in need of oxygen therapy augmentation, post-pandemic.
“This is a prime example of how the robust Canada-Ukraine relationship, and the strong people-to-people networks between our countries can make a real difference,” said Orest Sklierenko, President and CEO of the Canada-Ukraine Foundation. “We’re proud we can identify worthwhile, lifesaving projects, complete a thorough due diligence efficiently, and deploy resources in time to make a material impact on real people’s lives. This project fits squarely in CUF’s mission and vision as demonstrated for more than 25 years.”
CUF will continue to raise funds to cover the operational expenses of the “Oxygen for Life” project, such as fuel for equipment delivery, oxygen filter replacements, and accountability monitoring. Organizations, corporations and individuals are welcome to support CUF in this effort with financial or relevant material donations. Contributions may be made online at CUF’s donation page for Medical Missions or by contacting the Canada-Ukraine Foundation.
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