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PAHO/WHO, Canada donate 25 portable hand-held pulse oximeters to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital

Posted: Tuesday, July 6, 2021. 5:55 pm CST.

Photo Credit: PAHO

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: The Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) and the Government of Canada donated 25 portable pulse oximeters to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital’s COVID-19 Unit according to a press release by PAHO/WHO.

PAHO/WHO said the donation is part of its technical support program so that the KHMH can monitor oxygen saturation in patients recovering from COVID-19.

“PAHO/WHO continues to provide support to KHMH through procurement of much-needed medical equipment as part of the overall strategy to improve health outcomes and save lives of those who have been afflicted with COVID-19,” said Dr. Edwin Bolastig, PAHO/WHO Health Systems and Services Advisor.

Dr. Adrian Coye, Acting Director of Medical Services at the KHMH said “these portable pulse oximeters will be used in the monitoring of patients who have been discharged from the COVID-19 unit and are recovering.”

“Some of these patients may still have respiratory symptoms for a while therefore we need to be able to monitor their oxygen levels,” Coye said.

“With this tool, we can monitor their oxygen status and the heart rate, which is an important indicator to determine how well they are.”

PAHO/WHO said that five of the oximeters were bought from a grant the Government of Canada made to PAHO/WHO to help countries in the Americas improve their response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The other 20 were acquired from WHO Funds specifically for the COVID-19 response.

The PAHO/WHO release notes that the KHMH is the only public hospital in Belize that provides intensive care services for COVID-19 patients and that the oximeters should help the KHMH to “play a more effective role in the overall national health system response to the pandemic.”


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