Contribution comes in the wake of regular and increasing financial assistance from the United States to South Africa
THE UNITED States embassy in South Africa, through its office of defence co-operation, said on Tuesday that it had provided 12 400 protective masks to the South African National Defence Force’s (SANDF) military health service to assist ongoing efforts to combat the spread of Covid-19.
“This donation of potentially life-saving masks is indicative of the respect and value we hold for our partnership with South Africa and the SANDF’s South African Military Health Service. Their Covid-19 response has been commendable and we support them on this crucial mission of supporting the people of South Africa,” said ambassador Lana Marks.
US Navy Captain Steven Morgenfeld, the senior defence attache at the US embassy in Pretoria, also commended the SANDF’s intervention in the extensive nationwide efforts to manage the spread of Covid-19.
“The South African National Defence Force and South African Military Health Service are key components of the national Covid-19 response. The United States department of defence is excited to assist our South African partners by procuring locally-sourced PPE (personal protective equipment). We hope this cements the strong relationship we share, and that the PPE will save South African lives,” said Morgenfeld.
The contribution comes in the wake of regular and increasing financial assistance from the United States to South Africa in the fight against the virus.
The protective gear was delivered to the Pretoria military district last week.
The embassy said the FFP2 (filtering face piece particles) respirator masks are approved by the European Union and are the equivalent of the N95 respirator mask used in the United States.
To date, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has committed $13.2 million in funding, along with $8.4 million in assistance, through the US Agency for International Development (USAID). This brings the US government’s total commitment to South Africa’s Covid-19 response to over $21.5 million (about R400 million).
Additionally, through the US President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (PEPFAR), the United States is supporting up to 5 400 community health care workers to assist with the South African government’s community Covid-19 screening campaign and to provide HIV treatment support on the front lines.
The embassy said the contribution built upon “a strong foundation” of $7.2 billion in US government public health assistance to South Africa over the past two decades.
– African News Agency (ANA)