A Vancouver pharmacist has started a fundraiser to get N95 masks for nurses at the Lynn Valley Care Centre in North Vancouver.
David Wong, the owner of the Corning Drugs location in Chinatown Vancouver, aims to raise $8,000.
Wong has established a team called ‘The Covid 19 Task Force’ to help health care workers.
“We hope by providing these nurses the masks they have requested, they are able to offer immediate care for the seniors at Lynn Valley Care Centre,” Wong said.
The fundraiser’s goal is to buy 2,000 masks to donate to the facility or any other hospitals that may need them.
More than 40 nurses are willing to volunteer at the Lynn Valley Care Centre provided they get N95 masks.
On March 22, Christine Sorensen, the president of British Columbia Nurses Union, wrote to the federal health minister asking that the government do more to protect nurses and health care workers.
Sorensen pointed out that nurse fear that their health and safety are being put in peril due to a global shortage of N95 respirators.
She pleaded with the health minister to ensure supply of N95 respirators at all times in clinical areas that are considered hot spots such as intensive care units, emergency rooms and trauma centres that are managing COVID-19 patients.
Sorensen said she recently listened to more than 5,000 nurses who participated in a teleconference and about 70 per cent of the nurses reported that their facilities are simply not ready.
Some do not have policies and protocols in place, some do not have proper screening and barriers in place, and others do not have the appropriate personal protective equipment, or protective equipment of any kind.
“Immediate action is needed to preserve the lives of our health care workers and to prevent our public health care system from becoming overwhelmed. No one wants to be put in a position to make the kinds of decisions currently facing the Italian health care system,” she said.