USA pledges more Covid-19 support to South Africa

indafrica July 6, 2020
Updated 2020/07/06 at 1:06 PM

The US government, through the US Agency for International Development (USAID), says it has delivered a second shipment of 100 ventilators to South Africa to assist with its national response to Covid-19.

The second shipment of ventilators arrived in South Africa on 5 July and form part of ongoing support to South Africa, the US embassy said in a statement on Monday (6 July).

It noted that the first shipment of ventilators arrived in South Africa in May and, with guidance from the South African National Department of Health, have been installed and are supporting Covid-19 patients in hospitals in Gauteng, Western Cape, and Eastern Cape.

In addition to ventilator donations, USAID will train up to 10,000 critical care nurses and physicians to ensure safe and effective utilisation of donated ventilators through online modules. The training launched at the end of June.

USAID said it will also support supply chain assistance for oxygen therapy and has procured 25 high flow nasal cannula oxygen units for the Western Cape Provincial Department of Health, another important emerging intervention for patients with respiratory failure.

“For more than a half-century, the United States has been the largest contributor to global health security and humanitarian assistance,” said US Ambassador to South Africa Lana Marks.

“We were on the front lines in the fight against Ebola, we support countries in their battles against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and other infectious diseases, and we are leading the global response to Covid-19. We remain, as we always have been, your strong partner in global health,” said Marks.

Marks said that through an ‘All-of-America approach’, the United States is providing life-saving support by coordinating with the government of South Africa and other stakeholders to identify priority areas for investment.

The total US government financial commitment to South Africa’s Covid-19 response is over $41.6 million (R767 million), she said.

“Because an infectious-disease threat anywhere can become a threat everywhere, the United States calls on other donors to contribute to the global effort to combat Covid-19.”

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