Supporting the COVID response in Afghanistan with the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
Lifebox has donated 100 pulse oximeters to IOM for distribution across Afghanistan for vital COVID-19 screening and ongoing care. Afghanistan is presently experiencing a third wave of COVID, with June seeing the sharpest rise of cases since the start of the pandemic. The infection rate is believed to be many times higher than the official figure of 125,000 confirmed cases.
“IOM received Pulse Oximeters at a crucial time when the emergence of a third wave of COVID-19 transmission in Afghanistan was taking place. With health facilities overwhelmed by severe forms of the disease due in part to a lack of adequate monitoring devices, the contribution was very timely. The provision of pulse oximeters amid the COVID-19 pandemic has helped IOM medical teams to comprehensively monitor patients in remote hard to reach areas. The results have been compelling.” Dr. Mohiuddin Khan, Migration Health Officer, IOM.
Following receipt of the pulse oximeters, IOM’s emergency health team organized an orientation session for its medical teams and trained them on basic usage and operation. The provision of pulse oximeters amid the COVID-19 pandemic has helped the IOM medical teams to comprehensively monitor patients in remote areas that would otherwise have lacked access to COVID care.
Due to widespread conflict, natural disasters, and the COVID-19 pandemic, existing health facilities in Afghanistan are overburdened, and the most vulnerable continue to face limited access to healthcare. IOM provides free healthcare services to Afghans who in many instances have never had the opportunity to access healthcare before.
IOM is one of the Afghan government’s core partners in the COVID-19 response, particularly in the provinces of Herat, Nimroz, Kandahar and Nangarhar. The COVID response has included large scale provision of PPE and medicine, screening at the border, community engagement, as well as 18 Rapid Response Teams to test for and manage COVID-19 cases at the community level and provide ambulance-based referral services for severe cases that need hospitalization.
Lifebox and IOM connected through Every Breath Counts – the global coalition of public-private partners supporting low- and middle-income countries to reduce pneumonia deaths, including from COVID-19.