The delivery of life-saving oxygen tanks to Brazil in the fight against COVID-19

11 November 2021

In early 2021, Brazil was hit with a devastating second wave of coronavirus.

In January, over 2,500 people had already died from COVID-19, and over 270,000 cases had been registered in the state of Amazonas alone (the largest state of Brazil). Hospitals struggled to cope: the demand for oxygen in public hospitals in Amazonas had exceeded the daily average by more than 11 times.

Your response 

The bishops and sisters of Amazonas made a direct plea to CAFOD to support them during this crisis. Thanks to the amazing generosity of CAFOD supporters, an emergency grant of £63,000 was given to our Church partner in Brazil, Caritas Brasileira, enabling oxygen tanks to be delivered to those most in need in some of the most remote parts of the Brazilian Amazon.  

"Thank you for your compassion and solidarity to support those who needed it most, enabling us to respond quickly to save countless lives."

Esther Gillingham, Brazil Programme Officer.

The oxygen tanks

The emergency funds enabled the delivery of 165 oxygen tanks to 13 of the most remote hospitals and health centres in the Brazilian Amazon. In total, some of the tanks travelled distances of nearly 5,000km from the southern city of Belo Horizonte to reach the northern municipalities of Itacoatiara, Tefe and Fonte Boa.

This was an extraordinary achievement, especially due to the highly complex logistics and huge distances. Caritas Brazil ensured that the oxygen tanks were loaded onto a five-hour internal flight from Belo Horizonte to Manaus, and from there, they travelled for hours by boats, trucks, or cars to reach patients that desperately needed oxygen. 

That first delivery of oxygen was lifesaving for up to 1,320 patients, due to chronic underfunding and lack of life-saving equipment in hospitals. The tanks are now permanent assets for these hospitals and will continue to save lives as they can be repeatedly refilled and used for different patients via small oxygen generators. 

Thank you for reaching out to support our global family. 

“During a time of deep crisis and suffering in Brazil, it was heartening to be able to make our contribution in response to the cry for help of bishops and sisters in the Brazilian Amazon. Thank you for your compassion and solidarity to support those who needed it most, enabling us to respond quickly to save countless lives.” – Esther Gillingham, Brazil Programme Officer. 

Prayers in a time of Coronavirus

As the world still seeks to heal and recover from Covid-19, we invite you to pray with us for a brighter, healthier future and one that is full of hope and God's abundant blessings. Thank you.

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