The U.S. government completed last week the distribution of personal protective equipment (PPE) to frontline health workers at seven health clinics in the Comoros. The clinics, spread across the islands, were identified as some of those hardest hit by the global COVID-19 pandemic.
“This head-to-toe equipment, donated by the U.S. government, will keep these Comorian heroes healthy and continuing their vital work of caring for patients sick with the coronavirus,” said Ryan Bradeen, a spokesperson for the U.S. Embassy in Madagascar and Comoros.
The equipment included 39,000 medical grade face coverings, 39,000 gloves, 6,500 disposable gowns, 2,600 disposable overshoes, 650 goggles, 650 thermometers, and 650 bottles of sanitizing gel.
In a model of international humanitarian collaboration, the United States Africa Command (USAFRICOM) funded the PPE purchase, while the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and local representatives of the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) facilitated the delivery of the PPE gear in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, Solidarity, Social Protection, and Gender Promotion.
This USAFRICOM donation is part of the U.S. government’s long-term engagement with the Comorian healthcare sector. Since 2010, the Department of Defense has annually provided laboratory equipment and training to Comorian military hospitals and their staff through the Defense HIV/AIDS Prevention Program (DHAPP). Through DHAPP, the U.S. government helps build the capacity of the Comorian Defense Forces’ medical professionals to control infectious disease outbreaks and support the civilian population who utilize the military hospitals for care.