Mbabane: The government of the Kingdom of Eswatini has received Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and clinical support worth 10.5 million (US$774,188) from the government of the United States of America.
The donation is part of the support that the United States Government is advancing to Eswatini ahead of the projected COVID19 third wave. The country has already started seeing an upward trend in the number of daily covid-19 cases.
The United States Ambassador to the Kingdom of Eswatini Jeanne Maloney said, as the United States of America they were proud to partner with Eswatini in the provision of medical service and equipment to support the response in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. “As we have stood beside Eswatini in the fight against HIV/AIDS, we will continue to stand together to respond to COVID19,” she said.
Among the PPE donated are 400 Oxygen Efficient Respiratory Aid (OxERA), specialized masks, and breathing filters. The masks can more efficiently provide oxygen to serious and critically ill patients by providing up to 100 percent oxygen delivered to the lungs.
The United States Ambassador said the masks are a game-changer in the fight against COVID-19. She said they will come in as equipment bridging the gap between current standard oxygen therapy and intensive care-based ventilation while requiring no more oxygen flow than a standard face mask.
According to the Ambassador, the donation is from the U.S. government, through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), Center for Disease Control (CDC), Department of Defence (DOD), and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), is pleased to present this additional lifesaving assistance for COVID-19 clinical case management to the Kingdom of Eswatini.”
The donation also entails the training of healthcare workers in the management of COVID-19 cases, medical oxygen storage, availability and delivery, technical assistance, COVID-19 kiosk support, provision of oxygen concentrators, and rebreather oxygen treatment, as well as Personal Protective Equipment.
The Ambassador disclosed that the value of the donation is more than E10.5 million (US$774,188), bringing the total U.S. support to Eswatini for COVID-19 relief to E142.4 million (US $8.5 million). In addition to direct support to Eswatini, the United States has recently provided $3.5 billion to the Global Fund to distribute to support countries for COVID-19 prevention and treatment—of which up to $16 million is for the Kingdom of Eswatini. The U.S. has also committed $4 billion to the COVAX facility for the procurement of vaccines for beneficiary countries, including Eswatini.
The Ambassador further disclosed that the White House has recently announced a plan to dispatch 80 million doses of vaccine from the U.S. before the end of June, with the first batch of 25 million including an allotment of 5 million for Africa to be shared with countries that will be selected in coordination with the African Union.
Receiving the donations, the Minister of health Lizzie Nkosi expressed appreciation and excitement, saying the Oxygen Efficient Respiratory Aid (OxERA) came at the right time as they have the potential to reduce oxygen consumption and unnecessary wastage, which will ensure more oxygen reaches those who need it.
The Health Minister said the masks will be used at all levels of care including health centers and regional hospitals. This means the periphery hospitals and health centers will be able to increase the level of care available to patients, reducing the demand for admissions.