The US government, through the US Agency for International Development (USAID), is donating up to 1,000 ventilators and accompanying equipment to South Africa to assist with its national response to Covid-19.
The donated ventilators, which were produced in the United States, reflect state-of-the-art and in-demand technology, the US Embassy said in a statement on Tuesday (12 May).
It said that the ventilators are compact, deployable, and support both invasive and non-invasive applications.
“For more than a half-century, the United States has been the largest contributor to global health security and humanitarian assistance.
“These ventilators are another example of the American spirit of generosity as we battle this virus at home in the United States and together abroad with our partner countries,” said US ambassador Lana Marks.
Marks said that the ventilators will give South Africa flexibility in treating those patients affected by the virus. life-saving ventilator units alone are valued at $14 million (R255 million), with the accompanying equipment, service plans, and shipping totalling over $20 million (R364 million).
The embassy noted that the ventilator donation is in addition to our previously announced support to South Africa for Covid-19.
Previously the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has committed $13.2 million (R240.6 million) in funding, along with $8.4 million (R153 million) in assistance through the U.S. Department of Defense which provided the first in a series of donations of personal protective equipment.
Altogether, this brings the total US, government financial commitment to South Africa’s Covid-19 response to over US$41.6 million (R767 million).
Additionally, through the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the United States is supporting up to 5,400 community healthcare workers to assist with the South African government’s community Covid-19 screening campaign and provide HIV treatment support on the front lines.