Vital aid worth £11.2 million for Rwanda, Zambia and Malawi.
Stocks of personal protective equipment (PPE) are to be donated to Africa to aid their response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The PPE equipment, worth £11.2 million, will be distributed by Kids Operating Room (KidsOR), a Scottish-based global health charity.
This distribution will be supported by £250,000 from the Scottish Government, which will fund the transport of 25 shipping containers of material to Malawi, Rwanda and Zambia.
KidsOR raised a further £1 million to support the transport of the PPE from the Wood Foundation, Pula Limited, Postcode Trust and Delta Philanthropies.
The supplies include masks, goggles, and visors and the shipment, made available through the NHS Scotland Global Citizenship Programme, is due to arrive in partner countries in late September.
International Development Minister Jenny Gilruth said:
“COVID-19 knows no borders. I am pleased that the Scottish Government has been able to support this assistance to Malawi, Rwanda and Zambia – particularly as they look to plan for an expected fourth wave of COVID-19 in the coming months.
“This contribution builds on our recent supply of oxygen concentrators and ventilators, and we hope it will go some way to easing the current stress on health services.
“As the global pandemic continues, we firmly believe this is precisely the moment that Governments across the world should be stepping up to help those most in need.
“This donation underlines that the Scottish Government remains fully committed to playing our part in tackling the shared global challenge that the pandemic represents. I would like to thank KidsOR for supporting us to make it possible to distribute this PPE equipment along with the recent supply of oxygen concentrators and ventilators.”
Co-Founder of KidsOR Garreth Wood said:
“I would like to thank our donors for stepping up to help support the distribution of so many millions of items of PPE that will prove vital for countries in Africa battling the ongoing COVID pandemic.”
Chief Executive of NHS National Services Scotland (NSS) Mary Morgan said:
“The battle to beat COVID is truly a global effort. We are pleased that PPE secured by NSS is being donated to help those who need it most in Africa.
“We will continue to work with partners to identify further opportunities to support countries and communities who need our help.”
The donation of supplies is a commitment in the Programme for Government: A Fairer, Greener Scotland - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)
The stock involved in this scheme was identified by NHS National Services Scotland (NSS) as unlikely to be used within the Health & Social Care sector in Scotland and has been made available to international partners on that basis.
Scottish Government announced a grant of £270,000 from the IDF in July to fund equipment to respond to the COVID crisis in July. More can be read here: Vital equipment to fight Covid-19 crisis in Africa - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)