Health centres in Tirana, Fier and Dibër are receiving oxygen concentrators and protective equipment to be used in home care for patients with non-infectious diseases, as well as those with mild to moderate forms of Covid-19

The Embassy of Switzerland through its project ‘Health for All’ has completed the distribution of 58 oxygen concentrators for 21 health centres in Tirana, Fier and Dibër. For the first time these centres will be able to provide home care for patients who need oxygen therapy. Tirana which is the hardest hit with Covid-19 cases will get 40 of these machines in several health centres.

“A home based care model for the most vulnerable population of Albania is part of transforming the primary health care. In the current COVID 19 pandemic, serving to the people at highest risk takes a greater importance”, states Swiss Ambassador Adrian Maître.

These oxygen concentrators are portable equipment that can be used at patient’s homes and they use ambient air to deliver oxygen therapy to those who need it. Primary health care teams can use them for moderate forms of Covid-19 and for a variety of chronic conditions requiring oxygen supplies.

It was staff working at health centres that requested support in treating patients with oxygen therapy. “In this pandemic time the support by ‘Health for All’ takes on a special importance especially with the provision of the oxygenator and the training on how to use it. We are obliged to treat patients with Covid-19 also in home conditions therefore this equipment will improve our working conditions and enable us to help patients more”, said Dr. Lindita Blliku, Director and family doctor at the health centre in Ballagad, Lushnje.

In addition to oxygen concentrators, the ‘Health for All’ project has delivered to primary health centres also other medical supplies such as pulse oximeters and thermos-scanners, and protective gear such as surgical masks, gloves, washable isolation gowns and disinfectants.

This support – especially the oxygen concentrators – will enable primary health centres to treat patients and thus relieve the burden of Albania’s hospitals designated to treat Covid-19.

Earlier this year, Switzerland supported Albanian health authorities in managing the Covid-19 crisis through the donation of ventilators for Covid-19 hospitals. Moreover, the Swiss support enabled the distribution of surgical masks for teams of 100 health centers in Tirana, Dibra and Fier regions.

‘Health for All’ is a project of the Swiss Government that aims to strengthen primary health care in Albania–a priority area for the country.