Apple has been supplying personal protective equipment (PPE) to the Ministry of Health in Zambia. It’s in a bid to help medics working there deal with COVID-19 and HIV, it revealed Tuesday.
Apple PPE to Help Combat COVID-19 and HIV
Apple has donated face masks and face shields. Cardinal Adam Memorial Hospital received its first shipment in recent weeks. Samson Tembo, a retired military officer who has been the hospital’s HIV program coordinator for the past two years, commented:
The PPE is very important because physically it helps protect workers and mentally it helps us do our jobs freely.
The shipments are organized by the Global Fund. The fund’s shipments usually go towards fighting AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, but this year it has also had to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. It needed to secure rapid quality COVID-19 testing and diagnostic equipment, expand treatment, and provide health-safety education tools for community health workers. Yoram Siame, head of Advocacy, Planning, and Development with the Churches Health Association of Zambia (CHAZ), commented
The Global Fund has been a game changer. We were able to repurpose some of the money for personal protective gear for health workers, we ramped up our [COVID-19] testing capacity, and we were able to respond at a community level to make people understand what COVID-19 meant for them and their families.
Protecting Patients, Encouraging Them to Get Care
Of course, the arrival of COVID-19 deterred some of those living with HIV in Zambia from attending facilities The hope is that the PPE, and the protection it offers, will encourage people to get the care they need. “I go to the clinic; I haven’t gotten COVID-19. So, let them also follow my suit,” said one patient, called Tembo. The PPE donations happened alongside some PRODUCT(RED) proceeds being redirected towards COVID-19 efforts.