Responding to a humanitarian call on Facebook, people from different walks of life have come forward to provide fund for purchasing two high flow nasal cannula machines and other medical equipment for the treatment of Covid-19 patients at Barguna General Hospital.
The machines were purchased at a cost of Tk 9 lakh which was collected through the fundraising initiative. Each cannula machine costs around Tk 4 lakh, reports our Patuakhali correspondent.
One of the two machines already reached Barguna and has been officially handed over to the hospital authorities on Sunday. The other machine is expected to arrive in a day or two.
Barguna Deputy Commissioner Mostain Billah, Civil Surgeon Md Humayun Shahin Khan and Barguna General Hospital Superintendent Md Sohrab Uddin Khan received the machines at an event held at the Deputy Commissioner's Office.
According to the fundraisers on Facebook, ordinary oxygen cylinders do not work in case of Covid-19 patients when they are in need for ICU or ventilator support. The cannula machine can provide almost similar support to the patients.
The hospital previously had only one nasal cannula machine which was inadequate compared to the number of patients in need of the support. In this situation, former president of Barguna Press Club Abdul Alim Himu and journalist and cultural activist Mushfiqur Arif took a joint initiative to purchase the machine by collecting funds from locals through the social media platform.
With the slogan "We are for us", Arif appealed to Facebook users from the area for financial support to purchase two high flow nasal cannula machines for the Covid-19 Ward of Barguna General Hospital. Responding to their call, local people from different professions within the country and abroad extended helping hand.
Since the Barguna hospital has a central oxygen manifold system, the cannula machines will provide significant support to critical Covid-19 patients, Dr Kamrul Azad, medicine specialist at the hospital, told The Daily Star.
"It is not possible to deliver more than 15 litres of oxygen per minute through ordinary cylinders. For this reason, ICU support is required when a patient's condition worsens. But this machine can provide 70 to 80 litres of oxygen per minute for a patient, which helps in relieving their shortness of breath," he said.
Barguna General Hospital Superintendent Md Sohrab Uddin Khan also echoed Dr Kamrul's opinion and thanked those who came up with the initiative and those who provided the fund.
"We have only made a humanitarian call on Facebook. We are expressing our sincere gratitude and appreciation to those kind-hearted people who came forward to respond to our call," said journalist Mushfiqur Arif.
He also said that besides the two machines, they also purchased BP machine, pulse oximeter, KN-95 masks and some other medical equipment with the fund generated from the people.
Barguna DC Mostain Billah said the government is in the process of delivering the machine to every hospital in the country, adding that however, it may take some time to fully implement the effort.
"Many local problems can be solved if people come forward along with the government," DC Mostain Billah added.