Arutz Sheva spoke with Moshe Cohen, director of Yad Sarah, the largest organization of its kind in Israel, which provides a wide range of services to people coping with illness or disability and supplies medical equipment to people being treated for disease or infirmity at home.
“Yad Sarah has been in operation for 45 years now,” Cohen says. “We have 116 branches across the country, and 7000 volunteers.” He notes that the organization’s work is continuing, even now, almost as normal, naturally with meticulous adherence to the Health Ministry’s guidelines in order to protect both volunteers and recipients of assistance from infection.
“Right now, like everyone else, a great deal of our time is spent helping people cope with coronavirus,” he says. “Coronavirus affects mainly the respiratory system, and so we’re hearing a lot about ventilators and other breathing apparatus.” Many countries in the world are struggling to obtain enough of these potentially life-saving machines: Cohen explains that “because Yad Sarah is a well-known organization and recognized by the United Nations, we have been successful where [governments of] countries have failed. We have managed to bring a huge amount of medical equipment to Israel, including ventilators – equipment that costs around ten million dollars.”
“Yesterday, the first shipment of oxygen concentrators and ventilators arrived,” he adds, “and they are already being put to good use today. We are also in contact with the technological branch of the IDF, and with a number of hi-tech companies which take CPAP machines from us and convert them into ventilators.”
Cohen explains that due to the great pressure on the hospitals and the repurposing of entire departments into coronavirus wards, many sick people are being sent home and treated there. “Some of these people have respiratory issues, and others have lung disease. These are people who need ventilators or other equipment to maintain their oxygen levels, and making sure they have what they need at home is the ideal solution for reducing the pressure on the hospitals and saving lives.”
In order to obtain this specialized equipment, Yad Sarah is making a special appeal to raise money: “We are turning to the citizens of Israel and asking you: Help us save your brothers – help us provide them with the air to breathe.”