The Ministry of Health, (MOH) organized a ceremony with UNOPS to handover the first batch of 40 essential High-flow Oxygen machines and 100 Syringe Pumps for use in COVID-19 treatment Centres in Sri Lanka, on 12 May 2021.The equipment handed is part of the World Bank’s emergency procurement support to COVID-19 response projects valued at over US$ 6.4 million.The total amount of oxygen related COVID-19 equipment under the project is estimated to be over US$ 2 million
The event was attended by the Minister of Health, Pavithra Wanniarachchi, World Bank Project Director Dr. Jayasundara Bandara, senior officials from the Ministry of Health including the Deputy Director-general, Department of Biomedicine and Medical Supplies Janapriya Karunatilake and Sudhir Muralidharan, UNOPS Country Manager Sri Lanka and Maldives.
Minister Wanniarachchi commended the excellent and long standing partnership with UNOPS and acknowledged the part the organization plays in helping Sri Lanka from the inception of the COVID-19 pandemic. She emphasized the importance of increasing essential medical equipment to treat COVID-19 patients and stated that the Ministry of Health has ordered 350 more High-Flow Oxygen Machines for the COVID-19 treatment Centres via UNOPS & other sources. Dr. Deepika Attygalle ,Senior Health Specialist of the World Bank virtually attending the ceremony thanked the UNOPS for providing such services expediting the supply of essential medical equipment.
Sudhir Muralidharan – Country Manager UNOPS Sri Lanka, highlighted the importance of the partnership between UNOPS and the Ministry of Health which has enabled the relevant and timely delivery of critical healthcare procurement in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. UNOPS has used Emergency Procurement Processes which enable the provision of speedy, transparent and accountable support to the Government. He further stated that as the central resource of the United Nations System for procurement, contract management and project management, UNOPS will continue to support the Government of Sri Lanka to curb the spread of this pandemic. UNOPS will continue to procure lifesaving equipment to support the pandemic response in the weeks to come. Balance stocks of syringe pumps and high flow oxygen therapy machines will be delivered soon. BIPAP machines, neonatal ventilators, and transport ventilators are also crucial items that will arrive shortly to support the MoH.