Lieutenant Colonel Erick Jordan, the US Embassy Zambia’s senior defence official and defence attache, turned over personal protective equipment (PPE) and other infection control supplies to Doctor Felix V Phiri, permanent secretary at the Zambian Ministry of Defence, on 1 October. The donation will support the Ministry of Defence and the Defence Force of Zambia manage the spread of COVID-19.
“COVID-19 has changed how we conduct our daily lives and, in some cases, generated fear and uncertainties in our communities,” said Jordan. “This contribution will greatly strengthen Zambia’s ability to respond to the COVID-19 threat and continue to serve as testament to the longstanding bilateral security cooperation between the United States and the Republic of Zambia.”
At the behest of the Ministry of Defence, the US government, through US Africa Command, secured the PPE and other supplies in support of the Zambian government’s inter-ministerial measures to contain the spread of this unprecedented public health crisis, the US military’s Africa Command said.
The PPE donation includes 8 000 surgical masks, 8 600 N-95 respirator masks, 4 500 examination gloves, 7 000 hand sanitizer bottles, and more than 200 containers of chlorine disinfectant supplies. These donated items will benefit both military and civilian frontline healthcare workers from the 57 Defence Force of Zambia military health facilities throughout Zambia that serve a population of approximately 400 000, Africom said.
The US government is contributing nearly $10 million (K180 million) in health assistance to help Zambia respond to the COVID-19 outbreak. This assistance includes technical expertise and resources courtesy of the President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Defence, and the US Agency for International Development. The 1 October donation is valued at K1.5 million.