The Jakarta Post
Online health fund-raising platform WeCare has initiated a campaign that aims to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare personnel working around the clock treating COVID-19 patients across the country despite the apparent scarcity of safety apparatuses.
The campaign, under the hashtag #APDuntukNegeri (#PPEfortheCountry), has raised Rp 8.1 billion (US$512,904) as of Thursday, which will be allocated for the distribution of face masks, goggles, face shields and caps, among others, to around 1,700 hospitals across the archipelago.
WeCare cofounder Mesty Ariotedjo said the campaign had managed to distribute protective gear supplies to more than 400 hospitals and health clinics in several regions.
“This is far from enough,” Mesty said in a statement on Wednesday. “We will continue to ensure that protective equipment is accessible and well-distributed to support healthcare workers in their fight against COVID-19.”
She went on to say that the campaign was also supported by a number of major companies, including homegrown e-commerce unicorn Tokopedia.
Mesty encouraged the public and potential donors to access the fund-raising data on the campaign’s official webpage to ensure transparency and accountability of the initiative.
“We know that it is a long journey, which is why we invite everyone to contribute to distributing the PPE to Indonesian health workers,” Mesty said.
Shortages of protective gear supplies remain a major issue amid nationwide efforts to stem the rapid spread of COVID-19.
As of April 14, as many as 206 health workers have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, according to data from the Indonesian Doctors Association (IDI) and the Indonesian Nurses Association (PPNI). Of those who contracted the virus, at least 24 doctors and 12 nurses have died of COVID-19.
National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) chief Doni Monardo, who helms the country’s COVID-19 task force, said on Tuesday that the government had responded to supply shortages by distributing 725,000 pieces of protective health gear, 13 million surgical masks and 150,000 N95 masks.