Health workers at the Portimão Health Centre with their protective gear donated by SOS Algarve

SOS Algarve Covid-19 – the Algarve’s new fundraiser

A fundraiser to buy and deliver protective equipment to health workers on the frontline of the coronavirus battle has been launched by Algarve resident Isabela Lobo.

So far, the ‘SOS Algarve Covid-19’ campaign has raised nearly €4,000 through a GoFundMe page, with the goal being to reach the target of €25,000.

When asked why she set up the fundraiser, Isabela Lobo told us: “The short version is, I have family and friends on the frontline fighting this invisible enemy.”

It is also her way of giving back to the national health service, she said. In 2016, she was diagnosed with ALL – acute lymphoblastic leukemia – and was treated for several months at Hospital dos Capuchos in Lisbon. Having been touched by the “kindness and care” of the hematology team, Isabela is now hoping to help those who helped her.

“I have been unemployed since my diagnosis, so setting up the campaign in quarantine was the only tool I had available to help,” she added.

Since the campaign was launched, thousands of protective items have already been delivered to health professionals, including 160 units of protective eyewear, glasses and goggles; 800 protective suits;

2,500 caps; 250 protective gowns; 20 boxes of gloves (1,000 pairs); and 100 visors or face shields with 100 more “arriving this week”.

All purchases are made in Portugal, with the protective gear being delivered to medical teams in the Western Algarve as well as two nursery homes in Monchique and Alcantarilha, as they “were in dire need”.

Isabela says she doesn’t have a set date to finish the campaign, with the plan being to keep the fundraiser going until mid-May.

“My goal at this moment is to purchase more gowns and suits as soon as more donations are received. Given the nature of this equipment, they are destroyed after one use and must be constantly replenished,” she explained.

Although she was born in Macau, Isabela is Portuguese and has lived in the Algarve for over three decades. She has family in Hong Kong, whom she visited in December, missing the pandemic’s “explosion” by just a few days.

Donations can be made on the campaign’s GoFundMe page –


Health workers at the Portimão Health Centre with their protective gear donated by SOS Algarve
Protective suits