PESHAWAR: Over the last year with the generous funding of $4 million from the Government of Japan, UNOPS procured and delivered the most critically needed medical supplies for Pakistan’s COVID-19 response, working closely with National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and Health Department of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

As a result, 1,000,000 people, including 900,000 COVID-19 patients and 100,000 doctors, nurses, and medical staff, will benefit from the project, says a press release.

The procured items include protective dangris, disposable masks, latex gloves, portable ultrasound machines with video printers, electrical Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds, pulse oximeters, BiPAP machines for non-invasive oxygen support, PCR testing machines and kits, automated extraction kits, Viral Transport Mediums (VTMs), and swabs.

Gender-responsive procurement of PPE included consideration of sizing requirements for men and women and allocation of PPE based on gender requirements of the hospitals. Therefore, both men and women can easily use the PPE when treating COVID-19 patients.

For a quick and efficient delivery of these items, UNOPS used Emergency Procurement Procedures which have been used by UNOPS to effectively support countries across the globe in their response to the COVID-19 pandemic. UNOPS coordinated the timely identification and distribution of equipment and supplies with the government partners, ensuring maximum transparency in the process.

The project is part of an agreement between the Government of Japan and UNOPS to support countries in Asia, including Afghanistan, Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan, in their response to the COVID-19 outbreak through efficient emergency procurement of medical equipment and supplies.

Ms Marysia Zapasnik, UNOPS Country Manager for Pakistan, said: “During these difficult times of a COVID-19 pandemic, supporting each other and working together in strong partnership is especially important. Thanks to generous and timely funding from the Government and People of Japan, UNOPS has been able to provide critical medical equipment to the NDMA and HD-KP. This enabled them to do their job to respond to and curtail the spread of COVID-19 in Pakistan.

The equipment has increased their capacity to test and act quickly when COVID-19 is detected, to effectively fight the spread of the virus, to protect the lives of female and male frontline medical workers, and ultimately, to save the lives of girls, boys, men, and women in communities across Pakistan. UNOPS remains committed to working together with our government counterparts, key players in the health sector, and the donor community, in pursuit of better health outcomes for all the people of Pakistan.”

Muhammad Idrees Mahsud, Member of Disaster Risk Reduction unit, NDMA said: “This project will play a key role in our response to COVID-19 in Pakistan. Through the provision of VTMs and swabs, PCR testing kits, extraction kits, and the PCR machine, the project will help us enhance our diagnostic capacity and will enable us to protect our medical personnel with the medical supplies to tackle this pandemic in Pakistan. We are proud to work with UNOPS Pakistan to help the people in our country.”

Syed Imtiaz Hussain Shah, Secretary to Government of KP said: “The Government of KP highly appreciates UNOPS and the Government of Japan for their support through the provision of medical supplies and equipment, including electrical ICU beds, portable ultrasound and BiPAP machines, pulse oximeters, PPE and COVID-19 testing kits for the most critically ill COVID-19 patients. The support during this challenging time has contributed to the effective response to COVID-19 in our province. We look forward to continued cooperation with UNOPS to build a better future for all people in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.”

Dr Amena Hasan, UNOPS Project Manager, said, “Thanks to UNOPS’s efficient and transparent Emergency Procurement Procedures, this project successfully addressed the critical needs of medical supplies and equipment in order to fight COVID-19 in Pakistan. The project has helped to protect the healthcare professionals as well as to extend life saving medical care to COVID-19 patients.”

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