WHO and Germany deliver critical medical supplies to Western Balkan countries to strengthen COVID-19 response and save lives
WHO has partnered with the German Government to deliver medical supplies worth 3.65 million euros to countries in the Western Balkan region. These supplies – 334 ventilators and 19 400 pulse oximeters - will equip health facilities to monitor and improve the health outcomes of COVID-19 patients, particularly in intensive care units.
The shipments were distributed at the end of 2020 to hospitals across the 5 countries of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia, as well as Kosovo (in accordance with UN Security Council resolution 1244 (1999)). All these materials meet WHO quality and safety standards to keep frontline health care workers and patients safe and prevent the spread of COVID-19. They will serve the immediate needs of countries during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as strengthen the capacities of hospitals for future health emergencies.
“Equity and solidarity are at the core of everything WHO does,” says Dr Dorit Nitzan, WHO Regional Emergency Director for Europe. “One of our main roles in this pandemic has been to assist countries in their response efforts, taking stock of international capacity and resources, and we are extremely grateful to see many forms of solidarity in action.” This donation was made possible through a very good cooperation between Germany, the Western Balkan countries and WHO and we are grateful for it.”
“As Europe continues to fight against the COVID-19 virus, no one is safe until everyone is, and European solidarity is key,” says Susanne Baumann, Head of the Federal Foreign Office’s Directorate-General for International Order, the United Nations and Arms Control. “This is why the German Government committed to provide tangible support to countries in the Western Balkans, equipping them with life-saving equipment to strengthen our collective response. This delivery follows previous supply provision and has happened in close collaboration with WHO.”
WHO remains a committed partner supporting governmental efforts to strengthen preparedness and response for COVID-19 and beyond.