Tzu Chi members step up to aid public hospitals again

Khoo (black mask) and his members handing over the medical equipment to Dr Hor (in purple) and Dr Norhasimawati (in baju kurung) at Kepala Batas Hospital.

PENANG Buddhist Tzu Chi Merits Society Malaysia has once again come to the aid of the state’s public hospitals.

It has donated 10 powered air-purifying respirators (PAPRs) and 15 twin oxygen flow meters to Kepala Batas Hospital for Covid-19 patients.

Commissioner Datuk Khoo Boo Leong said they would continue to give such medical equipment to hospitals not only in Penang but also in other states when needed.

“To date, we have donated over 30 PAPRs, 65 oxygen flow meters, 81 nasal cannula machines, about 400 intensive care unit (ICU) beds, almost 2,000 beds for quarantine wards and close to 600,000 medical isolation gowns to public hospitals nationwide.

“Other than PAPRs and oxygen flow meters, we also gave an assortment of other medical equipment and water dispensers to the hospital recently.

“Our founder Venerable Master Cheng Yen said it is better to give than to receive and we must always give without expecting anything in return.

“Therefore, we strive to support hospitals in the fight against the pandemic,” he added.

Khoo and team members preparing the items for the donation.Khoo and team members preparing the items for the donation.

Khoo and his society members handed over the equipment to hospital director Dr Norhasimawati Abdul Mutalib and her deputy Dr Hor Chee Peng recently.

Dr Norhasimawati said the hospital was made a dedicated Covid-19 centre in February to cater to the cases in the state.

“The move involved the use of all existing wards and beds that were increased from 134 to 199 beds for the care of high-risk Covid-19 patients in need of oxygen and respiratory assistance.

“Covid-19 cases are currently rising sharply and 45% of patients admitted to the hospital over the past two weeks have needed oxygen and respiratory assistance.

“High-risk groups are now not only those aged 60 and above with comorbidities, but also those in their 20s and 30s without any underlying health issues,” she said.

Dr Norhasimawati added that the use of wards and ICU beds at the hospital had also reached a daily usage of more than 75% in recent weeks.

The hospital, she said, appreciated the help from Tzu Chi which also contributed medical and non-medical assets such as moral support, healthy food and counselling over the phone to frontliners.

Last month, the society donated seven high-flow nasal cannula machines to be used on Covid-19 patients at Penang Hospital’s 20-bed high dependency ward.

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