U.S. Government Equips Hospitals With Oxygen Concentrators to Fight COVID-19

Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan – In continued efforts by the U.S. government to assist the Kyrgyz Republic in the fight against COVID-19, on November 25 the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) handed over six high-capacity oxygen concentrators to five hospitals in Bishkek, Chui, and Osh. These state-of-the-art, lifesaving devices will supply the hospitals’ intensive care units with purified oxygen, which is critical for COVID-19 patients with severe symptoms. This equipment was handed over as part of USAID assistance to the Kyrgyz Republic in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic at a virtual ceremony hosted by U.S. Ambassador Donald Lu.

This equipment has already been installed at the Republican Infectious Diseases Hospital, the National Hospital (including the Hospital for Veterans), Chui Regional Hospital, and Osh City Clinical Hospital. These locations were selected in close consultation with the Ministry of Health in order to be able to provide oxygen to the maximum number of sick patients.  At the virtual handover event attended by Chinara Zhunusheva, head of Healthcare Delivery and Drug

Policy Department at the Ministry of Health, U.S. Ambassador Don Lu expressed his certainty that, “In the hands of skilled Kyrgyz doctors and nurses, these oxygen concentrators will perform miracles.”

The six high-capacity concentrators are easy to install and operate, and can produce up to 8 liters of oxygen per minute. They can help run ventilators, anesthesia machines, and respiratory equipment, which rely on high pressure gases. Moreover, they have an external backup drive, which allows them to continue operating for 30 minutes in case of power outages. The total cost of the six machines is over $100,000.

In addition to the six high-capacity concentrators, USAID, in partnership with the WHO, is providing 100 additional oxygen concentrators to medical facilities throughout the Kyrgyz Republic. These mobile oxygen concentrators deliver nasal oxygen therapy as a breathing support to patients in rural and remote areas.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Kyrgyz Republic in March, USAID has provided more than $4 million through partner organizations like Abt, WHO, and the International Foundation of the Red Cross/Red Crescent. These funds have been used to procure personal protective equipment, upgrade labs for faster testing results, improve health information systems to help track the epidemiological situation more accurately, and train more than 4,000 Kyrgyz medical professionals on the latest COVID-19 clinical treatment guidelines. USAID has also led COVID-19 prevention campaigns to help dispel myths and misinformation around COVID-19.

USAID plans to procure additional medical equipment and supplies in the months ahead, in order to ensure that medical staff at hospitals and family health centers have all the tools they need to fight the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Government, through USAID and the Centers for Disease Control, has provided more than $5 million in support for the Kyrgyz Republic’s COVID-19 response.