A new website has been launched here in Ireland to connect companies or other organisations who may have excess stock of personal protective equipment (PPE) with hospitals and healthcare facilities around the world who need it.

The initiative, led by academics at NUI Galway and the University of Limerick, is aimed at providing assistance to front line clinical staff treating patients with Covid-19 where PPE may be in short supply.

In some places around the globe stocks of PPE are running low as healthcare resources are overwhelmed by Covid-19 cases and supply chains are disrupted.

Consultant Physician at University Hospital Galway, Professor Derek O'Keeffe, who is also Professor of Medical Device Technology, NUI Galway decided along with Dr Kevin Johnson from the University of Limerick to build an online platform to address the issue.

Through the website, businesses, labs, universities and other bodies anywhere in the world who use PPE such as gloves, gowns and goggles, can drop a pin on a map listing their identity, what category of equipment they have spare, their location and their contact details.

Local hospitals and healthcare facilities can then look at the map and see where they might be able to source PPE, in the event that they run short during the Covid-19 surge. 

"Speaking with my clinical colleagues across the world and looking at the repeating patterns of health supply logistics breakdowns that have occurred as COVID19 surges have swept across the world, it is clear that innovative alternative solutions need to be developed such as www.covidmedsupply.org to enable frontline staff get vital PPE to keep them and their patients safe," Professor Derek O'Keeffe said.