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Community members of the Wounaan ethnic group in Colombia's Choco department await a medical check-up Community members of the Wounaan ethnic group in Colombia's Choco department await a medical check-up   (AFP or licensors)

Pope sends respirators to Covid-struck Colombia

Pope Francis sends medical and surgical equipment to Colombia, which is struggling to treat Covid-19 patients.

By Vatican News staff writer

Pope Francis has made another donation, consisting in life-saving respirators and other equipment, to hospitals struggling to cope with the covid-19 pandemic.

Through the channels of the Apostolic Nunciature in Bogotà, four respirators and several containers of PPE equipment needed to treat patients infected with the coronavirus have been distributed to hospitals in Colombia.

Medical supplies distributed in poor areas

According to the Colombian Catholic Bishops’ Conference, the Apostolic Nuncio,  Archbishop  Luis Mariano Montemayor, has sent the Pope's gifts to some of the worst-hit areas of the country, in order to assist those in need who have difficulty in gaining access to medical care.

With the help of the Colombian Air Force and in collaboration with the Military Ordinariate of Colombia, the medical supplies have been delivered to the Bishop of Quibdó, Juan Carlos Barreto Barreto, for the city's health- care centers, namely the San Francisco de Asis Hospital and the Santiago Clinic.

"This gesture highlights the continuous solicitude of Pope Francis for Colombia in many areas, and expresses his concern for all the Churches," the Bishop said in a note, reiterating his gratitude and affection for the Holy Father.

A new gift from the Pope to struggling communities

This is not the first time that the Pope has made concrete gestures of help to countries struggling to cope with the Covid-19 emergency. One year ago, on the feast of Saint George the Martyr,  the Pope  donated respirators and medical supplies to hospitals in Italy, Spain and Romania, the countries worst-hit by Covid at the time.  

The distribution of the Pope’s gifts is coordinated by the Apostolic Almoner, Cardinal Konrad Krajewski. On some occasions he has been able to personally deliver the gifts.

Pope’s donation of respirators to Brazil

Last year Pope Francis sent eighteen Draeger ventilators for intensive care and six Fuji portable ultrasound scanners to Brazil, where the virus has killed many vulnerable people, including members of indigenous populations in the Amazon.

The delivery of the medical equipment to Brazil was made possible thanks to the efforts of a non-profit association called “Hope”, which is specialised in humanitarian health and education projects and has made every effort to procure high-tech life-saving equipment through various donors. “Hope” also provided for the transportation and installation of the equipment in the receiving hospitals.

21 April 2021, 13:04