UNOPS, WHO and ICRC visit Ayeyarwady Foundation’s Covid Centre to step up their joint fight against COVID-19 in Myanmar

Ayeyarwady Center
Representatives from UNOPS, WHO, and ICRC visit Ayeyarwady Foundation’s Covid Centre at Thuwunna Stadium in Yangon on 6 October. Photo : Suppied

Representatives from the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), World Health Organization (WHO) and International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) visited the Ayeyarwady Foundation’s Covid Centre (Ayeyarwady Centre) located at Thuwunna Stadium, Yangon, yesterday to observe the soon to be opened ICU-HDU facilities construction and installation.
During the visit, U Zaw Zaw, Chairman of Ayeyarwady Foundation, met the officials to discuss the formation of a long-term multilateral relationship to jointly support efforts to increase the treatment and testing capacity of COVID-19 at the Ayeyarwady Centre and enhance containment of the “second wave” in Myanmar. Furthermore, they explored ways to increase staff technical expertise in operating the ICU/HDU Critical Care section of the Ayeyarwady Centre. In a show of support, UNOPS agreed to source idle or redundant equipment and allocate, including ventilators, to the Ayeyarwady Centre for emergency use.
Prior to the visit, U Zaw Zaw, who is also the Chairman of Max Myanmar Group, held virtual meetings on October 3 with experts from UNOPS and WHO to share information around COVID-19 healthcare treatment best practices. The WHO may provide online training and human resources support in the form of healthcare specialists in ICU, anesthetic and radiology; UNOPS may support with guidance on procurement logistics and infrastructure and coordination with international donors; and the ICRC could provide assistance in the form of ICU specialists and healthcare professionals. U Zaw Zaw said of the cooperation, “The Ayeyarwady Centre is not only the work of the Ayeyarwady Foundation and Max Myanmar, but a collective effort with necessary guidance and support of the MOHS and Yangon Regional Government to support the Myanmar people. We are humbled to act as a bridge between the great work UNOPS and WHO are doing at the global level, and the amazing effort of our community here in Myanmar to fight this virus.”
The Ayeyarwady Centre, a joint-cooperation between the Ministry of Health and Sports (MOHS) and the Ayeyarwady Foundation was established as a temporary treatment centre for COVID-19 infected patients. It started off as a 425-bed temporary treatment centre on September 19 and expanded into 575-bed temporary treatment centre on September 29 and 875-bedded temporary treatment center on October 3. 75-bedded ICU/HDU Critical Care Unit will be opened in the coming days.
The Ayeyarwady Foundation, through the Ayeyarwady Centre, has been actively seeking collaborative opportunities with the wider global healthcare community and volunteers to come to Myanmar and provide their knowledge and skills to combat the pandemic. The need is especially acute for intensive care units (ICU) and high dependency units (HDU), where there is a critical shortage in highly trained and experienced human resources. The Foundation also welcomes partners for key support areas such as accommodation, logistics, and other expertise from international volunteers.—GNLM

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