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Contributing to ICRC’s operations in fragile environments 

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Aug 18, 2020

By the Philips Foundation team

Philips Foundation has provided a financial contribution to the global COVID-19 response of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). This will help to equip and run hospitals in conflict zones as well as strengthen ICRC’s overall COVID-19 response.

In exceptional times, it is essential to work even more closely with respected global organizations to achieve maximum impact. The ICRC response program to which Philips Foundation is committed includes medical support in hospitals and clinics and provides vital health infrastructure for the most vulnerable — often already threatened by war, other forms of violence or displacement from their homes.


We believe that extending our existing support to the ICRC can help accelerating much-needed access to quality healthcare. Supporting critical health care infrastructure and promoting investment to support communities in fragile countries is vital — not only for sustainable growth and development, but also for faster adaptation to increased demand for critical care in times such as these.


Impact of the pandemic continues to be felt everywhere


In this unparalleled crisis, we continue to face considerable uncertainty. Although in some areas there have been encouraging signs, in others, especially areas with fragile healthcare systems, we are seeing a surge in cases. 


The International Committee of the Red Cross and its partners are standing by some of the most vulnerable communities impacted by this crisis. In many violence- and conflict-affected countries, they have already provided primary healthcare centers with critical medicine and protective gear for front-line healthcare workers. 


For example, training healthcare professionals on the prevention and management of COVID-19 infections through good hygiene and sanitation. Providing technical support in hospitals, and improving the healthcare infrastructure by renovating medical screening rooms and sanitation systems in hospitals in El Salvador, Mozambique and Yemen.

Even if we do not yet know when this pandemic will be overcome, we do know that this will only be achieved by acting together.

Robert Mardini, Director-General, ICRC

Apart from the COVID-19 response, as part of its ongoing collaboration with ICRC, Philips Foundation has developed an easy to use training tool for hospital staff at the Mirwais Hospital in Afghanistan on the proper set up and use of improvised Bubble Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP), which helps children with pneumonia breathe properly.


The ICRC has been working in this hospital since 1997 as part of its response to the decades-long conflict in the country. The training kit helps to ensure a better use of the Bubble CPAP and thus strengthens recovery from childhood pneumonia.

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