The U.S. government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), is donating up to 1000 much-needed ventilators and accompanying equipment to South Africa to assist with its national response to COVID-19.
Ventilators are highly specialized medical equipment used in intensive care units. These are used to support individuals whose lungs are not working adequately despite receiving oxygen. In such individuals, ventilators may be life-saving. As a subset of individuals with COVID-19 become critically ill, intensive care support such as the use of ventilators are an essential part of these patients’ treatment to assist them in breathing as they recover.
“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 U.S. Ambassador Lana Marks.
The donated ventilators, produced in the United States, reflect state-of-the-art and in-demand technology. They are compact, deployable, and support both invasive and non-invasive applications. These will give South Africa flexibility in treating those patients affected by the virus. life-saving ventilator units alone are valued at $14 million, with the accompanying equipment, service plans, and shipping totaling over $20 million
South African Minister of Health, Zweli Mkhize, and Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Ebrahim Patel, have both noted the urgent need for ventilator capacity and production and this donation responds to that call. The U.S. Embassy is working closely with its South African government counterparts on the deployment of the ventilators, the first shipment of which is imminent. The ventilators will be sent to all intensive care units in hospitals that can accommodate them.
The ventilator donation is in addition to our previously announced support to South Africa for COVID-19. Previously the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has committed US$13.2 million in funding, along with US$8.4 million in assistance through USAID. The U.S. Department of Defense has also provided the first in a series of donations of personal protective equipment. All together, this brings the total U.S. government financial commitment to South Africa’s COVID-19 response to over US$41.6 million (R767 million).Additionally, through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the United States is supporting up to 5400 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.
For more information on the U.S. global response to COVID-19, please visit: https://www.state.gov/coronavirus