Baltimore Sun: Turning a corner on crisis, UMMS donates $4.6M worth of COVID PPE to South Asia

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By Meredith Cohn
June 2, 2021

The following is an excerpt from the Baltimore Sun article.

The University of Maryland Medical System is donating $4.6 million worth of personal protective equipment such as masks and gloves as well as generators and other goods to South Asian countries currently hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

The move to send 200 pallets of gear to India, Sri Lanka and other countries would have been unimaginable earlier in the pandemic when the system and most hospitals in the state and country were struggling to acquire enough equipment because of surging demand and temporary closure of major Chinese manufacturers during pandemic-related lockdowns.

Some U.S. hospitals outside Maryland shared images of front-line health care workers donning trash bags for protection. Reusing disposable masks became commonplace. Many facilities limited visitors and avoided unnecessary trips to the bedside of COVID patients to preserve protective gear.

News of shortages spurred countless community volunteers to sew masks for first responders and hospital workers, and amateurs and businesses retooled their equipment to produce face masks, hand sanitizer and other goods.

After scrambling to preserve equipment and find more early in the pandemic, the 13-hospital university system in Maryland now has more than it needs.

“These items were purchased at a time when the supply markets were very unstable, and we were focused on securing as much equipment and PPE as possible to ensure we were ready,” said Patrick Vizzard, vice president of supply chain management for the system, in a statement about the donation.

With the American supply crisis at bay for now, the University of Maryland hospital system is working to transport its donated goods through two groups: Project C.U.R.E., a global distributor of donated medical equipment to resource-limited communities, and the International Medical Health Organization, a grassroots global health nonprofit working in underserved regions of the world.

Read the complete article here.

Source: The Baltimore Sun

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