The message below from Professor Colin Green of the International Medical Education Trust (IMET2000), who is a member of West Surrey PSC and a lifelong supporter of the PalestiniansAt the request of the PA Minister of Health, IMET2000 has changed course from most of our planned projects in Gaza and the West Bank, to instead to help the battle against COVID-19.
At the request of the PA Minister of Health, IMET2000 has changed course from most of our planned projects in Gaza and the West Bank, to instead to help the battle against COVID-19. We fear that the COVID-19 coronavirus storm raging in neighbouring countries is about to break all barriers and go wild in Palestine both in the West Bank and Gaza. The PA Minister of Health has asked IMET2000 to support those hospitals which are dedicated to care of COVID-19 infected patients, and we know these have been busy for over three weeks. We are also supporting other outlying hospitals and small clinics in rural areas unlikely to be properly equipped.
IMET2000 has been asked to raise funds for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure or CPAP respirators, WHO-standard personal protective equipment (PPE), COVID-19 specific testing kits and training of many additional healthcare workers in basic life support and critical care nursing specifically for COVID-19-infected patients, using our mannequins and our dedicated IMET2000 training staff.
We are making progress.
Fortunately, my own UCL Hospital, London, have developed an excellent respirator together with the Formula One and Mercedes-Benz factory in Northants, UK called the UCL-Ventura CPAP Respirator.
This has been used extensively in COVID-19 patients over the past four weeks in UCLH and other London Hospitals and proved so successful that it has been fully approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Registration Agency (MHRA).
The factory is tooled up and producing 1000 per week. The UK government has ordered 10,000 as soon as possible.
UCL have kindly granted IMET2000 a two-year licence for production in Palestine and we already have the design blueprints (copyright restricted) to allow us to make our own inside Gaza and the West Bank.
We have booked and will purchase 15 of these respirators to ship to Palestine in the next week or so. Our current campaign target of £80,000 will pay for them and other COVID-19 driven activities.
We have already spent £28,000 on PPE and the very latest test kits which are highly sensitive and claim to give an accurate result in just 10 minutes.
Our ambition is to manufacture and produce the respirators inside the West Bank and in Gaza with local engineers as well as PPE as a cottage industry, thus providing work and income for otherwise destitute people.
As of today, we are also collaborating with the Faculty of Engineering in Al-Quds University to produce a basic ventilator as a follow on from the respirator if COVID patients deteriorate.
Our great IMET2000 Team in Ramallah are busy now gathering essential items for victims and distributing them.
Many Palestinian companies are being generous and donating to IMET2000 for example toiletries and sanitary products.
At a personal level, I much regret having to go begging again so soon after our Annual Dinner early February but now that this pandemic means that we cannot hold any of the fundraising events planned for this our 20th Anniversary year of IMET2000 working in Palestine, we have no option.
We have posted a COVID-19 appeal on our website (http://www.imet2000.org) and on Facebook, and would be so grateful if you or friends could help us by spreading the word.
As we work *pro bono* the project is run entirely free of administrative overheads.
Our minimalist target is £60,000 but we hope to hit at least £80,000.
It would be wonderful if even a small charity such as IMET2000 could help save lives in Palestine.