Media contact: Lindsay Bosslet | PATH | firstname.lastname@example.org
Seattle, WA, May 20, 2020 – PATH and a coalition of partners will support low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) in the development and execution of a comprehensive respiratory care plan to respond to COVID-19. The initiative will also pursue strategies to help prioritize and improve access to oxygen therapy and other essential equipment involved in respiratory care as an integral part of health systems strengthening, beyond the pandemic response.
Studies have shown that approximately 41 percent of confirmed COVID-19 patients—and in severe cases, more than 60 percent—received oxygen therapy to support breathing. In many health facilities across LMICs, oxygen therapy—including diagnosis, generation, and delivery equipment—is not reliably available, and, without careful planning and coordination, the rapid deployment of COVID-19 resources can quickly overwhelm existing health care systems.
A primary goal of the initiative is to coordinate tools, resources, and capabilities to ensure that those who need respiratory care due to COVID-19, or beyond, receive it. Immediate steps in that strategy will include supporting rapid respiratory care capacity assessments, supplier landscaping and outreach, global respiratory care response coordination, and informed decision-making on procurement and use of respiratory care products.
PATH and a coalition of partners will work with country governments to help ensure equitable access to oxygen therapy and other equipment involved in critical care for COVID-19. The initiative will gather intelligence on current availability and forecasted need to inform procurement and distribution strategies in project countries, and will work closely with the key global coordinating bodies to assist with rapid supplier engagement and market landscaping, analytics, and other activities.
Additionally, the initiative will assist LMIC government health ministry partners to operationalize COVID-19 response plans, including navigating the processes to access relief funding, procurement coordination, training in appropriate oxygen use, and support with equipment management.
The partners will also pursue integrated strategies to support country-level access to, as well as understanding and implementation of, global guidelines for the COVID-19 response, including stakeholder coordination and collaboration, development of a central repository of resources, and the development of a global road map for oxygen scale-up.
Finally, the initiative will use the evidence and knowledge gained from the COVID-19 response to help prioritize and strengthen overall medical oxygen delivery systems and respiratory care planning to strengthen LMIC health systems in the long run, after the pandemic subsides.
About PATH’s global response to COVID-19
As COVID-19 spreads around the world, PATH is partnering with governments to lessen its impact by establishing emergency operations centers; advising on testing, treating, and managing the outbreak; and standing up digital and data systems that support real-time disease surveillance. Click here for more about how we are responding to COVID-19.
PATH is a global organization that works to accelerate health equity by bringing together public institutions, businesses, social enterprises, and investors to solve the world’s most pressing health challenges. Our team of innovators comprises more than 1,500 employees in offices in 20 countries. With expertise in science, health, economics, technology, advocacy, and dozens of other specialties, PATH develops and scales solutions—including vaccines, drugs, devices, diagnostics, and innovative approaches to strengthening health systems worldwide. We work in more than 70 countries to transform bold ideas into sustainable solutions that improve health and well-being for all, reaching more than 150 million people, on average, each year.