UBC med students organize protective-gear donations for front-line COVID-19 workers

A group of medical students at the University of British Columbia is working to collect personal protective equipment for hospital staff and first responders on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has warned that the province is dealing with a higher “burn rate,” or consumption rate, than expected on surgical masks, respirators and other gear, and that B.C. needs more resources to keep front-line workers safe.

The need for personal protective equipment has led to a flood of Good Samaritans gathering and donating gear, including a group of medical students who have collected extra personal protective equipment from professionals like oral surgeon Dr. Howard Chow.

Eric Esslinger is part of the group of UBC medical students who started the initiative after recognizing the growing need for PPE.

“Every donation is important, it doesn’t matter how small,” he said. “It’s still worth the effort even if it’s a few boxes of gloves.”

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The students have been able to help 10 area hospitals. They now plan to reach out to research laboratories and businesses to keep the momentum going.

Anyone who is interested in donating can find more information below:

  • Metro Vancouver
  • Vancouver Island
  • Okanagan
  • Prince George

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