Interreg CoofHea project: the reply of cooperation to Covid-19 pandemic 

In 2020, the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic led all institutions in the world to take up special and extraordinary measures to counter the catastrophic effects.

The Interreg Greece-Italy programme decided to make its contribution through the CoofHea – Cooperation for Health, whose goal was to support 9 Hospitals in Greece and in Puglia Italy, engaged in the fight against coronavirus.

The project, funded for 3,400 million euro, is led by the Presidency of the Puglia Region – Citizen’s Security, Migration Policies and Social Antimafia Section in cooperation with 9 Greek hospitals, the hospital of Ioannina in the Region of Epirus, the hospitals of “PANAGIA I VOITHIA” and “Agios Andreas” of Patras with the hospital of Ilia and Etoloakarnania in the Region of Western Greece, the hospital of Corfu, Zakynthos, Kefalonia and Lefkada in the Ionian Islands.

First of all, thanks to CoofHea, from 2020 to date the project partners have had the opportunity to purchase and to install important medical equipment which was impossible to find back then. Among others, it is worth to mention more than 1 million of face masks have been used in Covid-19 hospital wards and by Puglia Region Civil Protection; 83 mechanical ventilators with external supply of oxygen and air; 55 additional bed spaces in intensive cares; more than 1 million values of equipment have been installed in hospital venues (respirators, monitors, oximeters, defibrillators, etc.).

Moreover, CoofHea aimed to finalise a scientific study which, starting from a sample of 230 patients based in Puglia Region, could analyse the different responses of the human body to coronavirus infection.

This study was carried out thanks to the collaboration between the Genomics and Bioinformatics Laboratory and the Medical Genetics Laboratory of the University of Bari, along with the ASL(explain acronym) Bari. 

The final report of this research (to be published soon) will provide a valuable contribution to understand how to take care the most fragile patients with specific therapies.

In addition, CooFHea project has started  a capacity building action targeted to the Greek hospitals focused on the topic of telemedicine and clinical remote assistance.

This is an innovative system allowing patients forced to quarantine for Covid-19 to be treated from home, in order to avoid further hospitals costs and complications.

For this activity AReSS Puglia (the Strategic Regional Agency for Health and Social Affair of Puglia) produced an online training course of four webinars that will be shared with the Greek hospitals. 

In the same time, the Greek hospitals will be able to request online assistance to the AReSS Puglia Agency until the end of the project in order to correctly set up an in-house telemedicine system, on the basis of the HCASA platform, already implemented  in Puglia Region.