Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) has donated several items of new medical equipment to Mater Dei Hospital, praising hospital staff for the free healthcare shown towards refugees over the years.

Parliamentary Secretary for Health Chris Fearne thanked MOAS founder Regina Catrambone and MOAS director retired brigadier Martin Xuereb for the donation and assured them the equipment would be put to good use.

A search and rescue charity that assisted some 3,000 migrants in the Mediterranean Sea last year, MOAS had received a large donation of medical equipment from US-based NGO Medical Bridges, some of which could not be utilised on its boat MY Phoenix.

MOAS said each contribution showed that many private individuals and organisations wanted to be part of the solution to the humanitarian crisis witnessed in the Mediterranean Sea.

The medical equipment donat­ed includes a neonatal resuscitator, defibrillator and an infusion pump.

MOAS is currently on a mission to raise funds to ensure a beefed up six-month presence in the Mediterranean this year to respond to the increase in refugees and the winding down of other rescue missions.

Donations are being received on www.moas.eu/donate.

Last year, 3,419 men, women and children died while making the dangerous crossing to Europe in unseaworthy boats, mostly by drowning or dehydration.

To monitor the progress of the vessel and keep up to date with the latest news, follow MOAS on twitter @moas_eu and use the hashtag #MOAS to enter discussions about migration.

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