[Port-au-Prince] – The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) donated 250 life-saving oxygen cylinders to the Ministry of Public Health and Population of Haiti (MSPP) as part of the U.S. government’s continued efforts to respond to COVID-19. These cylinders will help hospitals in Haiti provide the life-saving care their patients need.
U.S. Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. to Haiti Kenneth Merten remarked, “I am proud that we continue to respond to Haiti’s urgent needs in combating the COVID-19 pandemic with support from U.S. government agencies, including USAID, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and U.S. Southern Command.”
USAID Mission Director, Christopher Cushing, said, “The U.S. government will continue to assist the Government of Haiti in the fight against COVID-19. I am pleased to know this donation of cylinders will ensure that patients have access to uninterrupted oxygen while receiving treatment. These efforts build on decades of life-saving work and U.S. leadership in tackling global health crises.”
The 250 cylinders will be delivered to seven hospitals. Three of these hospitals have been caring for COVID-19 patients since the initial COVID-19 outbreak in March 2020: Hôpital Saint-Luke, Hôpital Universitaire de Mirebalais, and Hôpital de Bon-Repos (Hôpital de La Police). The remaining four sites are in the southern region of Haiti, which was recently affected by the August 14 earthquake: Hopital Saint-Boniface de Fonds des Blancs, Hôpital Sainte-Thérèse de Miragoâne, Hôpital Saint-Antoine de Jérémie, and Hôpital Saint-Michel de Jacmel.
Hôpital Universitaire de Mirebalais’ Executive Director Loune G. Viaud said, “This donation of oxygen cylinders will save many lives in Haiti. We are thankful for the collaboration with USAID.”
A hospitalized COVID-19 patient experiencing severe symptoms will, on average, need two full oxygen cylinders each day, and many will need up to four cylinders per day. Oxygen production at most COVID-19 treatment centers in Haiti is insufficient to meet patients’ needs. While the full cylinders are in use, additional empty cylinders must be transported off-site to be refilled. USAID’s donation increases the number of cylinders readily available to replace the cylinders in use.
USAID’s donation of 250 oxygen cylinders will help ensure the uninterrupted availability of oxygen for COVID-19 patients receiving treatment. This supply will supplement the 50 oxygen concentrators that USAID previously donated.
In coordination with MSPP’s National Coronavirus Coordination Response Unit (CNRC in French), USAID is actively supporting the medical oxygen ecosystem in Haiti. This support includes the global procurement and in-country logistics of various equipment necessary for oxygen generation and delivery to patients with severe COVID-19 symptoms or other respiratory distress.
The United States is committed to partnering with Haiti to end the COVID-19 pandemic, mitigate its devastating social and economic impacts, and to be better prepared for potential future outbreaks.