WHO has delivered 150 medical ventilators and 100 high-performance real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) thermal cyclers to the Islamic Republic of Iran to further support the country’s health system in its efforts to respond to the COVID-19 health emergency.
PCR testing represents the gold standard in diagnosing COVID-19. The addition of the new devices, worth more than $2.8 million, procured through contributions from German Humanitarian Assistance and other international partners, will increase the testing capacity of the country’s laboratory network.
The network currently conducts an average of 27,000 PCR tests daily.
“Increased testing capacity is important for detecting and isolating cases at earlier stages and tracing those in contact with them, which can contribute to early control of transmission and effective treatment of patients,” said Dr Christoph Hamelmann, WHO Representative in Iran.
The devices will be distributed to reference laboratories in 24 provinces including Ardabil, Alborz, Isfahan, Ilam, Boushehr, Tehran, Chahar Mahal and Bakhtiary, South Khorasan, Khorasan-e-Razavi, North Khorasasn, Zanjan, Semnan, Sistan and Baluchistan, Fars, Qazvin, Qom, Kurdistan, Kerman, Kohgiloyeh and Boyerahmad, Lorestan, Guilan, Markazi, Hormozgan, and Yazd.
Ventilators are vital instruments in the care of COVID-19 patients in critical care units. Of the 150 ventilators delivered by WHO, at a value of more than $2.7 million, 50 have been funded by the Government of Japan and the other 100 have been procured through contributions from the Sate of Kuwait, and other international humanitarian aids. “The machines will contribute to an increased recovery rate for critically ill patients suffering from COVID-19,” Dr Hamelmann noted.
The recent resurgence of COVID-19 in the country has put the national health system under stress. WHO is actively supporting Iran’s Ministry of Health and Medical Education by providing medical supplies and equipment.