The U.S. Embassy Civil Affairs Team (CAT) recently donated five intensive care unit (ICU) beds to the provincial government of Batanes to support local COVID-19 and disaster response efforts throughout the province.
The ICU beds, which are valued at more than Php589,000 (US$11,250), were CAT’s second donation to Batanes in the past year. In November 2021, CAT provided a supply of COVID-19 personal protective equipment.
The islands of Batanes are subject to frequent typhoons and occasional earthquakes. Maintaining medical supplies such as ICU beds in the province is an important part of providing immediate care to the local population after natural disasters since Batanes’ remote location can delay the arrival of supplies from outside areas.
“The ICU beds we received from the U.S. Embassy CAT will surely be of great help to our continued COVID-19 [and disaster] response. We are beyond grateful and appreciative of this donation. It’s a testament of your care and concern for our province,” said Governor Marilou Cayco.
“It is my fervent hope that this undertaking will open more windows of opportunity between the people of Batanes and the U.S. Embassy. May this be the start of a harmonious partnership in working toward improving our health and medical facilities,” Cayco added.
“We have been truly impressed by the compassion and resiliency of the Ivatan people. On behalf of the U.S. Embassy, we look forward to our continued collaboration and partnership,” said CAT Leader U.S. Army Capt. Arthur Kim.
Provincial Health Office Director Dr. Allan Sande also thanked CAT for always standing by Batanes and delivering the “timely and relevant support” needed by the province.
“The items we received from the last donation were given at a time when we needed them most. During the first COVID-19 surge in October last year, if not for these bundles of safety items they have given us, it could have been very difficult in the management of community transmission,” said Sande.
The U.S. Embassy CAT was previously known as the Civil-Military Support Element.
Photo credit: U.S. Embassy in the Philippines. The U.S. Embassy Civil Affairs Team turns over the ICU beds to Batanes provincial officials, led by Governor Marilou Cayco.