Bishop Giovanni Cefai, the Territorial Prelate of Huancané in Peru, is seeking to raise funds to purchase oxygen tanks for his impoverished community in a bid to prevent people from dying simply because they cannot afford treatment.
The city of Huancané lies just north of Lake Titicaca, close to the Bolivian border. It is at the centre of the Prelature of Santiago Apostol de Huancané, whose territory counts some 200,000 inhabitants, of whom most are indigenous Aymara.
The prelature was created last year, and Mgr Cefai, who hails from Żebbuġ in Gozo but who has called Peru home for nearly 20 years, was consecrated as its first bishop. He is the first bishop hailing from the Missionary Society of St Paul.
But the territory presents numerous challenges, not least widespread poverty, a situation exacerbated by the arrival of Covid-19.
“Unfortunately, healthcare in Peru is not free of charge and only those who can afford it can receive medical care. As a result, many poor people suffering from Covid-19 are dying simply because they happen to be poor and cannot pay for oxygen cylinders,” Bishop Cefai remarked.
With this in mind, he has just launched the Oxigeno para Huancané campaign, through which he is hoping to secure oxygen cylinders which can be used to help the poor. Oxygen cylinders, however, cost some €2,000 apiece, though refilling them costs some $30.
A Covid-19 patient may need 2 oxygen cylinders daily for around 3 days.
“My goal is to buy as many oxygen cylinders as possible so that my dear people can live. I do not want even one more person in my Prelature to die because of lack of oxygen,” Bishop Cefai said. He cautioned that the worst is likely yet to come, with the pandemic expected to peak by the end of October
“If you can, please help us. Every little counts,” he appealed.
Donations may be made to Bishop Cefai’s Bank of Valletta account, account number 4001765874-8 (IBAN: MT44 VALL 2201 3000 0000 4001 7658 748, BIC CODE: VALLMTMT).
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