A recent 30 plus member coalition has announced that it has started to supply approximately 60 million personal protective equipment (PPE) pieces in the first round of the campaign to the countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
The step has been undertaken in a bid to ensure mobilization of private resources to defend health staff in Africa from COVID-19. This is the only known initiative to date which brings together the PPE resources for healthcare workers in Africa.
Sources cite that the CAFA (COVID-19 Action Fund for Africa) is serving in collaboration with the Ministries of Health to tackle vital needs of the PPE, such as surgical masks, gloves, vision protection, and up to one million health workers serving over 400 million people in the coronavirus pandemic.
With assistance from Crown Family Philanthropies and with in-kind donations from the more than 30 partnering collaborators, CAFA is supported by a Direct relief USD 10 million pledge. The World Food Programme in collaboration with the CAFA has spent more than USD 1 million in donated freight and logistics. In all 24 African nations, the project intends to rise up to USD 100 million to provide community health staff in PPE for about a year.
To date, CAFA has acquired 25 million surgical masks, 822,000 face shields, 35 million gloves, and 974,000 isolation gowns. It transports the PPE to the port of entry in each African country and provides the supplies to community health workers in partnership with the Ministry of Health.
The protective equipment can be compared to nine 747 cargo jets and weighs around 441 metric tons. The first 500,000 units were delivered from California's Direct Relief warehouse, some of which arrived in Lesotho and Zimbabwe and is in a run for up to 10 other countries in the first round.