At the end of last year, Razom for Ukraine NGO and Ukrainian overseas community raised about $13,000 in order to purchase 18 oxygen concentrators for Lviv, Kharkiv and Odesa.
About $6,500 was spent for procurement of five oxygen concentrators for two Kharkiv hospitals: four machines were given to hospital No 25 and one to hospital No 18.
According to Valentyna Tabaka, the chief of the wound care department in New Jersey, the oxygen delivery system in US hospitals is centralized with an extensive network. Oxygen is supplied to each bed where medical staff can give it to the patient if needed. “I read lots of news from Ukraine and I can’t understand how lack of oxygen [Kh.O.: for patients] is even possible,” Valenyna admits.
Such disappointing news drove Maria Genkin, member of the supervisory board of Razom NGO, and other volunteers to start fundraising to purchase oxygen concentrators.
“Everyone has already known a person who had coronavirus or died from it. That’s why we realized that help is needed,” Maria Genkin says.
New York volunteers found NGOs in Lviv, Odesa and Kharkiv that take care of hospitals, including COVID patients, and suggested their help.
“Razom for Ukraine works with several volunteer organizations in Ukraine that find and purchase oxygen concentrators for hospitals and in-home treatments for both infected and recovering patients. We are not able to save everyone but any life should be given a fighting chance,” states Maryna Prykhodko, board member of Razom for Ukraine NGO and project coordinator in Kharkiv.
“People call our hotline and say that a person is in the hospital and he or she is suffocating because there are no more oxygen points and we can hardly help. So, we really appreciate the aid of overseas volunteers,” Alla Feshchenko, the coordinator of targeted assistance of Stantsiia Kharkiv (Ukrainian: Station Kharkiv) NGO admits.
People donated from $10 to $500. A couple of cooks donated 10 percent of their week’s earnings.
Maria Genkin hopes that the project will be continued. Volunteers are going to focus on small settlements where oxygen is most critically needed.
Text: Natalia Ivanova
Photo: Station Kharkiv