As the country's health service buckles under increasing coronavirus cases, individuals and hospitals seek help from the diaspora in a bid to raise funds for essential medical equipment.

Since May, Algeria has seen a more than 600 percent increase in Covid-19 cases, with the more transmittable Delta variant reportedly accounting for more than 70 percent of infections.

The Algerian Medical Network has taken to social media to raise funds as medical supplies increasingly become exhausted.

Oxygen supplies, in particular, have been running low, with Algerian campaigners starting crowdfunding initiatives in a bid to raise awareness and bring much-needed funds to hospitals and individuals in Algeria.

"We are relying on your generosity to protect our frontline workers with the necessary protective materials, to assist Covid patients with the medicine they will need to heal," said Hanane Benhamou, one of the organisers of the initiative.

Just in May of this year, the country averaged around 200 Covid-19 cases per day. Now Algeria is experiencing its fourth coronavirus wave, with daily cases running at their highest levels since the pandemic began with around 1,300 cases per day.

With more than 175,000 official cases officially recorded and around 4,300 deaths, Algeria has escaped the worst of what many other countries have experienced.

Neighbouring Morocco has more than 640,000 cases, and Tunisia has recorded almost 600,000 cases with more than 20,000 deaths, the second-highest in Africa.

But as events in Tunisia have shown, mishandling the pandemic has significant implications.

Algerians have turned to the French crowdsourcing site called Leetchi.

One Algerian village called Ait-aissi which has set up a crowdsourcing page called the country's preparedness as sometimes "derisory."

Henine Houcine, who is behind the fundraising page, has called on Algerians within the country and, in particular, the country's diaspora to help fund the villages' health needs before the crisis deepens. 

"Solidarity is an act of love, being in solidarity is knowing how to listen to the great silent pains of your loved ones," said Houcine.

So far, the village has raised more than $5,000.

But it's not just the country's towns and villages that have turned to crowdsourcing.

Some of the country's hospitals have turned to Leetchi to deal with the unfolding crisis.

One of the only hospitals in the rural region of Yakouren called the situation in the hospital "catastrophic," pleading for help to purchase basic equipment for the care of patients.

"We are counting on your generosity to help our families and friends in Algeria," said the organiser of the page, which has raised almost $17,000.

There are at least 15 such petitions, only Leetchi.

But on other platforms, there are also pleas for help in particular from the "diaspora", which are more likely to have disposable incomes.

One account looking to raise money for the Boghni and Kabylia rural regions of Algeria said that "now more than ever the need for help from the diaspora" is needed to source equipment that are "sorely lacking."

Such resources include hydroalcoholic gels, which are medical-grade disinfectants, medical gloves masks and in particular oxygen.

Algeria has fully vaccinated only 1.6 percent of its population, and around 6 percent have received at least one dose.

The country recently signed a deal to produce the Chinese coronavirus vaccine Sinovac locally. This is in addition to an agreement signed to make Russia's Sputnik V vaccine which will start domestic production from September.

Source: TRT World