As Algeria’s daily COVID-19 infections peaked at 1,900 in late July, the U.S. government delivered a $2.6 million mobile field hospital to the country’s Ministry of Health.
The 35-bed hospital will serve civilians. It has a negative pressure isolation system that ensures that patients in any condition receive medical care, including surgeries, without contaminated air flowing in or out of a patient’s room. Five of the beds are for patients who need intensive care.
U.S. experts partnered with Algerian counterparts for training on how to quickly assemble and disassemble the hospital. The U.S. is expected to deliver another mobile field hospital to Algeria in the coming months, officials said July 27.
“The field hospital is part of the United States’ commitment to sharing resources in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic across the globe,” Gautam Rana, officer in charge of the U.S. Embassy in Algeria, said during a handover ceremony. “The U.S. government remains committed to providing continued assistance to the Algerian people as the world faces an unprecedented global challenge.”
Between May and early August, Algeria recorded a more than 600% increase in COVID-19 cases, with the highly contagious delta variant accounting for more than 70% of the infections, Turkish news channel TRT World reported. Algeria’s government responded by reimposing restrictions in 35 of its 58 provinces in late July.
The fourth wave of infections left Algeria’s hospitals overcrowded with some patients unable to receive needed oxygen and other medical supplies.
The Algerian Medical Network turned to social media to raise money for medical supplies, and civilians initiated online campaigns to raise awareness. Hospitals and health care centers also needed medical-grade disinfectants and protective masks and gloves.
“We are relying on your generosity to protect our front-line workers with the necessary protective materials, to assist COVID patients with the medicine they will need to heal,” Hanane Benhamou, an online campaigner, told TRT World.
Henine Houcine, who lives in Ait-aissi, created a crowdsourcing page through the French site Leetchi to appeal to Algerians who had moved out of the country.
“Solidarity is an act of love; being in solidarity is knowing how to listen to the great silent pains of your loved ones,” Houcine told TRT World.
A hospital in Yakouren was able to buy an oxygen generator with funds donated through Leetchi.
“Providing the hospital with a generator was our priority; the hospital had several deaths due to lack of oxygen, which is terrible,” Naouel Ahdad Yata, who helps run the fundraising campaign, said on its Leetchi page.