COVID or not: we can’t let people die from lack of oxygen

You may have heard that thankfully, COVID has not been as devastating as predicted in Zimbabwe.

Yet, the lack of respiratory equipment is as dire as ever.

Sadly Zimbabwe’s health system is severely over-stretched and under-resourced, and we can’t stand by while people die from lack of oxygen.

Most health facilities – and even emergency response teams – ambulances and paramedics – lack equipment needed to treat people who can’t breathe enough oxygen. This condition is common among people with pneumonia and asthma and pulmonary tuberculosis (TB). It also occurs in cases of malaria, meningitis, and in babies born underweight or prematurely.

In Zimbabwe, the biggest cause of death is HIV. The second biggest cause of death is due to respiratory infections (pneumonia) and the third is TB. Oxygen therapy plays a key role in treatment.

Quite honestly, COVID has opened our eyes to just how big the need is for oxygen therapy.

With our work to date, Kufema is well positioned to meet that need, as we continue to work to save lives and help people breathe.

Kufema’s current focus is to equip and train COVID response teams across the country with PEEP devices, oximeters & other equipment.

We’re prioritizing areas with the highest caseloads to start with, and if we exceed our initial fundraising target, we’ll be able to reach more remote corners of the country.

So, while we are still focusing on using oxygen therapy for COVID treatment, we’re building up capacity and equipment for Emergency Medical Services in oxygen therapy so that our work can have a longer term impact: saving lives and helping people with respiratory distress to breathe easier – regardless of the cause.

Check out our new video to see more of Kufema’s impact on the ground!

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