CPAP oxygen machines have been distributed across the Garden Route District since yesterday, continuing today. Thousands of patients have requested oxygen concentrators but many have died across the country due to its unavailability and the need for it at hospitals.
CPAP oxygen machines have been distributed across the Garden Route District since yesterday, continuing today. Thousands of patients have requested oxygen concentrators but many have died across the country due to its unavailability and the need for it at hospitals.

Gift of the Givers donates oxygen machines for Covid-19 patients across Garden Route

By Sukaina Ishmail Time of article published Jan 12, 2021

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Cape Town – Gift of the Givers is rolling out 250 oxygen machines along the Garden Route which has been identified as one of the Covid-19 hotspots in the Western Cape.

Public and private hospitals in Swellendam, Riversdale, Mossel Bay, Sedgefield, Knysna and George received much-needed oxygen machines yesterday and some will get them today.

They come from world famous charity organisation Gift of the Givers (GotG).

Founder Imtiaz Sooliman said: “The importance of delivering these machines timeously cannot be underestimated. We have witnessed thousands of desperate patients requesting oxygen concentrators or pouring into hospitals, in many cases travelling for several hours from hospital to hospital in search of oxygen.

“Tragically, due to unavailability of sufficient oxygen delivery machines, hundreds have died in their cars, in hospital queues, casualty departments or at home in their beds.”

Sooliman said oxygen suppliers should also try to deliver oxygen timeously because this has been a huge problem for many hospitals.

The machines will enable patients to receive oxygen closer to home instead of rushing to a hospital which puts a person at a higher risk.

GotG project manager Ali Sablay said: “We donated close to 600 CPAP machines in the Eastern Cape, then we went to Northern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. The machine saves a lot of oxygen and since it is very scarce, the CPAP can be used as low flow and intermediate flow. Hospitals are using these machines in ICUs first because the recovery time is much better.”

Sablay said doctors and hospital staff are stressed and understaffed along the Garden Route because they had been inundated with calls. Health workers felt motivated again after the donation of the machines which would help in saving lives.

“The mood has lifted and the optimism is all pervasive as the tools are available in large numbers… 12 000 CPAP machines have been put at Gift of the Givers’ disposal,” he said.

As the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic sweeps the country, the Western Cape has experienced a marked increase in infections.

The CPAP machine is designed by the SA National Ventilator Group in association with SA Radio Observatory.

Cape Argus

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