As the country’s health services crumble under increasing coronavirus cases, individuals and hospitals are seeking help from the diaspora in an effort to raise funds for essential medical equipment.
Since May, Algeria has seen a more than 600% increase in cases of Covid-19, the more transmissible Delta variant, accounting for more than 70 percent infections.
The Algerian Medical Network has taken social networks to raise funds as medical supplies are increasingly depleted.
Oxygen supplies, in particular, are running out, as Algerian activists have launched crowdfunding initiatives to raise awareness and provide much-needed funds to hospitals and individuals in Algeria.
“We are counting on your generosity to protect our frontline workers with the necessary protective equipment, to help Covid patients with the drugs they will need to recover,” said Hanane Benhamou, one of the organizers of the initiative .
In May of this year alone, the country averaged around 200 cases of Covid-19 per day. Today, Algeria is experiencing its fourth wave of coronavirus, with daily cases at their highest level since the start of the pandemic with around 1,300 cases per day.
With over 175,000 officially recorded official cases and around 4,300 deaths, Algeria has escaped the worst of what many other countries have known.
Neighboring Morocco has more than 640,000 cases, and Tunisia has recorded nearly 600,000 cases with more than 20,000 deaths, the second highest in Africa.
But as events in Tunisia have shown, mismanagement of the pandemic has important implications.
Algerians have turned to the French crowdsourcing site called Leetchi.
An Algerian village called Ait-aissi which has set up a crowdsourcing page described the country’s preparation as sometimes “derisory”.
Hénine Houcine, who is behind the fundraising page, called on the country’s Algerians and, in particular, the country’s diaspora to help finance the health needs of the villages before the crisis worsens.
“Solidarity is an act of love, being in solidarity means knowing how to listen to the great silent pains of those close to you,” said Houcine.
So far, the village has raised over $ 5,000.
But it’s not just cities and towns across the country that have turned to crowdsourcing.
Some hospitals across the country have turned to Leetchi to deal with the ongoing crisis.
One of the only hospitals in rural Yakouren called the situation at the hospital “catastrophic”, asking for help to buy basic equipment for patient care.
“We are counting on your generosity to help our families and friends in Algeria,” said the organizer of the page, which raised nearly $ 17,000.
There are at least 15 of these petitions, only Leetchi.
But on other platforms, there are also appeals for help especially from the “diaspora”, who are more likely to have disposable income.
A Account Seeking to raise funds for rural areas of Boghni and Kabylie in Algeria, said that “now more than ever, the need for help from the diaspora” is needed to stock up on “sorely lacking” equipment.
These resources include hydroalcoholic gels, which are medical grade disinfectants, medical glove masks and in particular oxygen.
Algeria has fully vaccinated only 1.6 percent of its population, and about 6 percent received at least one dose.
The country recently signed an agreement to locally produce the Chinese coronavirus Sinovac vaccine. This comes in addition to an agreement signed to manufacture the Russian vaccine Sputnik V, which will begin domestic production from September.
Source: TRT World