Don’t Send Ventilators

Building water wells seemed like the best and quickest way to solve the problem, but a few months after building them, each one had broken down since the communities lacked the capacity or expertise to maintain them.

I later learned there are more than 50,000 broken wells in Africa alone, and in some communities as many as 80% of donated wells are broken. Through that experience, I learned a hard lesson: even when there seems to be an urgent need, simply providing resources without considering the local context is rarely the right approach.

For healthcare systems to effectively leverage ventilators in the fight against this coronavirus they require an immense amount of resources and expertise that many African countries lack. There’ll need to be constant electricity and a consistent supply of accompanying sedatives, intravenous medicines, and intravenous pumps for ventilators to add real value. [emphasis added]

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