Donation equips Eswatini Ministry of Health to combat COVID-19

The equipment includes 11,250 plastic face shields, 12,400 filtering facepiece masks, and 256 infrared thermometers.


"This personal protective equipment will go a long way in assisting the kingdom to respond more effectively to this pandemic, particularly to our beloved frontline workers."
By Lt. Col. Al Phillips New York National Guard South Africa Jun 08, 2020
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U.S. Department of Defense personnel assigned to the U.S. embassies in South Africa and the Kingdom of Eswatini met at the Oshoek Border between the two nations to hand-off medical protective equipment earmarked for the Eswatini Ministry of Health.

The equipment includes 11,250 plastic face shields, 12,400 filtering facepiece masks, and 256 infrared thermometers.

"Today, the U.S. government, through the Department of Defense, is delivering vitally important equipment, including PPE, to Eswatini to help prevent and combat COVID-19," said Ambassador Lisa Peterson. "We will continue to work with government and our implementing partners to respond to this crisis in real and concrete ways.

"Together, we are working to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic, to protect people who are most vulnerable to contracting this disease, and to preserve the advances Eswatini has made in the fight against HIV and AIDS."

The equipment was transferred from the embassy personnel in South Africa to the embassy personnel in Eswatini, which is landlocked by South Africa and Mozambique, in order to comply with South African COVID-19 quarantine policies and law.

"We want to say on behalf of his majesty's government—thank you for this partnership between the Kingdom of Eswatini and the U.S," said Principal Secretary Eswatini Ministry of Health, Dr. Simon Zwane. "This PPE will go a long way in assisting the kingdom to respond more effectively to this pandemic, particularly to our beloved frontline workers." 

The U.S. Embassy has dedicated 22 medical and technical experts from President's Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the Department of Defense, and the United States Agency for International Development to work directly on Eswatini's COVID-19 response. These officials support national efforts, share technical expertise, provide training, and offer a wealth of knowledge and experience in responding to this unprecedented public health threat. 

"This donation of PPE from U.S. AFRICOM to the Kingdom of Eswatini exemplifies how despite vast distances between our capitals, governments can still work together to face down common threats on behalf of our citizens. COVID-19 is a global problem that requires global action," said U.S Embassy Office of Defense Cooperation Chief, Lt. Col Darrick Mosley.

Through direct funding to partner organizations, the U.S. Embassy is supporting 50 clinics and 1,926 facility and community-based support staff to support the government COVID-19 response. This funding builds on investments in Eswatini to combat the HIV/AIDS epidemic, control tuberculosis and malaria, and build capacity to respond to other public health threats.

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