Cotabato City—The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in the Philippines is helping the Bangsamoro government acquire 15 medical ventilator machines (MVM) for coronavirus patients designated to hospital intensive-care units (ICUs).
An MVM, also known as a respirator or breathing machine (RBM) is a device that provides mechanical ventilation to help patients with respiratory problem generate oxygen and enable them to breathe, by moving breathable air in and out of the lungs, and in the process clearing their lungs also of carbon-monoxide.
Dr, Saffrullah Dipatuan, health minister of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) noted that difficulty in breathing is one the symptoms medically recorded of patients diagnosed with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), secondary to severe pneumonia or acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).
"In the whole region, only three (3) ventilators are available, and those are all in Maguindanao Provincial Hospital," BARMM’s Minister of Health Dr. Dipatuan said during a virtual press briefing here.
“Only those hospitals with ICU can have medical ventilator machines. Currently of all hospitals in BARMM, only the Maguindanao Provincial Hospital has medical ventilator machines,” Dipatuan added.
The Maguindanao Provincial Hospital was established by the late Justice Secretary Simeon A. Datumanong, when he was governor of the province, and helped upgrade it with modern equipment during his terms as congressman of the province, and as secretary of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
Dipatuan said 15 more MVMs would be installed in Maguindanao Provincial Hospital and other COVID-19 referral hospitals in BARMM through the help of the UNDP.
"In addition, visiting representatives of an international relief organization also signified to give more medical ventilator machines," Dipatuan added.
Dipatuan said had there been no donations of MVM, "we should be procuring those units by sheer necessity.”