UPM has accepted a challenge from OP Financial Group to support UNICEF's work alleviating the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in India, which is facing an acute crisis. UNICEF is working to increase testing capacity and support hospitals, for instance by supplying oxygen generating plants and other vital oxygen therapy equipment to facilities suffering from severe undersupply.
The situation in India became critical in May and is currently the most crippling any single country has experienced so far during the pandemic, with as many as three new infections detected every second and three people dying every minute. Nearly 30 million coronavirus infections have been diagnosed in India and about 377,000 people have died from the virus.
“No country will be immune to the health and economic effects of this pandemic until the spread of the coronavirus is under control all around the world,” notes Outi Mikkonen, Director, Corporate Collaboration at UNICEF Finland.
“The COVID-19 situation in India is difficult. That is why we want to contribute to the fight against the pandemic while we also support our customers and partners in India. We are offering support under our global Biofore Share and Care program, and our donations, sponsorships and pro bono volunteering have helped many communities during the pandemic,” says Pirkko Harrela, VP, UPM Stakeholder Relations.
Last year, UPM donated 500,000 face masks for distribution to social and health care providers in hospitals and nursing homes in communities where UPM is active.
UNICEF supports the local health care system in collaboration with the Government of India
To date, 26 oxygen generating plants have been delivered as emergency aid to hospitals to bring additional oxygen close to patients with the most severe form of the disease. In addition, the oxygen plants can be used to treat sick newborns or children with pneumonia, to support mothers with complications in labour, and to stabilize the breathing of surgical patients.
UNICEF will supply an additional 14 oxygen generating plants to India in the coming months, as well as provide other critical assistance to India. The donation includes more than 4,500 oxygen concentrators and 200 test devices for analysing coronavirus samples. UNICEF has already supplied India with millions of face masks and protectors, hundreds of thousands of units of cold chain equipment for the storage of drugs and vaccines, and thousands of oxygen concentrators.
Main image: ©UNICEF/UNI340993/Panjwan