The Solidarity Fund has taken delivery of a consignment of personal protective equipment (PPE) as part of its health and humanitarian intervention to provide much-needed PPE for frontline healthworkers.
The consignment, received on June 6, includes gowns and N95 respirator masks, and takes the number of PPE pieces that the fund has received to date to 25-million, against a target of 35-million pieces.
In helping to reduce import overhead costs, the delivery was made possible by a partnership between the fund, South African Airways’ (SAA's) cargo division and fuel suppliers BP and Total, which donated jet fuel.
The collaboration helped the fund enhance resources and direct spend towards the critical equipment.
The fund approved R905-million for procurement of PPE which secured nearly 80% of the surgical masks and 100% of the N95 masks required to meet the weekly demand for healthcare workers until at least the end of June.
This PPE is destined for health personnel on the frontlines of the fight against Covid-19, primarily in the public sector. It is distributed in line with the Department of Health’s needs and priorities.
Further, outside of hospitals, PPE has also been procured to support the work of community-based healthcare workers.
Solidarity Fund chairperson Gloria Serobe says the partnership is further proof of what can be achieved when different stakeholders come together and contribute their expertise for the benefit of a shared objective.
SAA Cargo acting GM Justice Luthuli says the collaboration with its partners to fly in much-needed essential medical supplies in response to South Africa’s needs, was a source of pride and fulfilment.
Solidarity Fund interim CEO Nomkhita Nqweni notes that the arrival of this essential PPE is crucial for the safety of healthcare workers and efforts to manage Covid-19, as hospitals prepare for the peak of coronavirus infections in the months ahead.
The fund was established to support the national health response, contribute to humanitarian relief efforts and mobilise South Africans to drive a united response against Covid-19. It has so far received R2.8-billion in pledges, with R2.5-billion of these deposited into the fund’s account.