Surplus PPE being sent from NI to help with Ukrainian crisis

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Surplus PPE stock worth £3.5m is being sent to Ukraine by the Department of Health in Northern Ireland.

The items include masks, coveralls, oxygen therapy consumables and sterile gowns.

Health Minister Robin Swann met with Joe Coyle from Hope 365, one of a number of local charities helping with the delivery and allocation of the stock, at BSO’s warehouse at Lissue near Lisburn on Wednesday.

Mr Swann said: “These supplies have played an important role in the acute phase of the crisis response.

“A full international humanitarian response is ongoing and, as the international system steps up, my department is continuing to work with our UK partners to ensure that the help offered by the UK meets the most urgent needs.

“As in any emergency situation, we must be careful not to overwhelm fragile delivery systems as there is currently limited capacity to receive and arrange onward delivery of supplies into Ukraine and the region, so the most effective way we can contribute is as part of the national response efforts which are being guided by those on the ground.”

He added: “My officials continue to work closely with the UK Government, UK Health Security Agency and the other devolved administrations to mobilise a variety of items including equipment, such as monitors and medical consumable items, personal protective equipment and medicines, in response to specific requests from the government of Ukraine.

“These products are being transported in a number of specially commissioned consignments, organised by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).

Northern Ireland cancer strategy
Northern Ireland’s Health Minister Robin Swann said he would continue to collaborate with others over helping Ukraine (Liam McBurney/PA)

“I will continue to look for every opportunity to identify how we can work collaboratively over the coming days, weeks and months to identify how best we can assist in mitigating this humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.”

The minister also urged the public, when considering making cash donations, to do so through established emergency response appeal mechanisms, such as the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC).

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