The Mozambican government intends to acquire 300 ventilators to meet the needs of seriously ill patients infected by the coronavirus that causes the respiratory disease, Covid-19.
So far, according to the Ministry of Health, 20 people have been diagnosed with Covid-19 in Mozambique, two of whom have made a full recovery. None of them are seriously, and so far they do not need to go onto ventilators.
Speaking at a hearing on Friday (April 10) before the Plan and Budget Commission of the Mozambican parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, the Minister of Economy and Finance, Adriano Maleiane, said the purchase of the ventilators will be financed out of the state budget. They will cost 222 million meticais (about 3.3 million US dollars, at current exchange rates).
Currently Mozambique only possesses 24 ventilators in the entire country. If the current outbreak takes on epidemic proportions, then a large number of patients will suffer serious breathing problems, and will need ventilation in order to survive.
“The value of these ventilators is guaranteed, and we shall have them”, said Maleiane. “We shall acquire 300 ventilators, 100 of them fixed and 200 mobile. The value is already approved in the budget, and we also count on the support of our partners”.
The Health Ministry has warned that ventilators are not the solution and should only be seen as a supplement to the preventive measures the government is taking to limit the spread of Covid-19.
Speaking to reporters on Monday, the deputy director of the National Health Institute (INS), Eduardo Samo Gudo, pointed out that no country in the world, including the United States and China, has enough ventilators to meet its needs.
He urged Mozambicans not to imagine that importing more ventilators would solve the problem. Instead, citizens should follow the advice given by the government concerning regular hand washing, social distancing and avoiding unnecessary travel. No amount of ventilators would save the country in the event of a large scale coronavirus outbreak, he warned.
As for the 700 million dollars which the government recently requested from its partners, Maleiane said this money is intended not only to prevent and treat Covid-19 but also to build 79 new district hospitals, in line with President Filipe Nyusi’s pledge of “one district, one hospital”
“Perhaps the information about the 700 million dollars we requested from our partners was not communicated in the best way, and so there was this misunderstanding”, said the Minister. “We have a real need to build 79 district hospitals, and this is in the government’s Five Year Programme. We put this need to our partners, to see if there was anyone who could finance it”.
Source: AIM via Club of Mozambique