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With the Shortage of Ventilators Due to COVID-19, One Country Only Has 4 for 12 Million People

Mark Andrew

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  • Despite having a population of 12 million, South Sudan only has 4 ventilators.
  • The country has reported its first case of coronavirus last April 5.
  • So far, they have 4 confirmed COVID-19 infections.

Many healthcare systems around the world are currently overwhelmed to capacity because of coronavirus. The epidemic has presented a huge challenge not only to the expertise of medical professionals but also to the availability of essential equipment.

Ventilators, for example, are crucial for the survival of COVID-19 patients experiencing breathing difficulties due to lung failure. The sad fact, however, is that not all countries have access to these lifesaving tools.

Case in point, the Republic of South Sudan only has 4 ventilators despite having a population of 12 million. On top of that, they just have 24 beds on their intensive care unit.

This information comes from the International Rescue committee and it’s truly disheartening, especially when one considers that according to the World Health Organization, about 1 out of 5 COVID-19 patients need hospitalization and those who end up critically-ill would most need to have access to ventilators.

In a CNN Interview, IRC vice president and program delivery head Elinor Raikes pointed out how the pandemic “quickly overwhelmed ” countries with strong health systems.

“There’s already immediate cause for concern about how it would quickly overwhelm countries with weaker health systems,” added Raikes.

Meanwhile, 10 other African countries have zero ventilators at all, according to NewYorkTimes.

Fortunately, the World Bank has provided $7.6 million as a support the North African country’s coronavirus response.

“The health system in South Sudan is extremely fragile and when we see how robust health systems around the world are struggling fighting COVID-19, that makes us worry more for the people of South Sudan,” confessed UNICEF South Sudan representative Mohamed Ag Ayoya.

World Bank’s South Sudan manager Husam Adubagga also said that they are expecting the pandemic to “overburden” the country’s “weak public health preparedness and response system,” adding that the emergency funds will aid in meeting “critical resource needs” during these challenging times.

As of April 21, South Sudan has 4 confirmed coronavirus cases, 0 deaths, and 0 recoveries. The disease was first reported in the country on April 5.

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