By Trevor Cohen
South Africa at the moment is fighting the Corona virus, like many countries around the world. The leadership has taken an opportunity to lead and grow on bold decisions made to completely lose the plot. With corruption at the heart of the pandemic leading the decisions made and those on the front line not having protection while their brothers and sisters are driving fancy German and Italian cars. The United States representatives in South Africa took the initiative to find out from the department of health what was most needed and how they can help.
AFRICOM or the United States Africa Command sent gloves, masks, sanitizing supplies and medical gowns south to South Africa on C130 J model. On Friday the 14th of August, the trip started at AFB Ramstein in Germany and flew to Djibouti where the crew stayed overnight as they would have maxed out there on-station time. On Saturday, the 15th the Charlie 130 the left Djibouti and refuelled in Dar es Salaam and landed at 13:50 in South Africa where they were met by officials and the American Ambassador to South Africa Lana Marks.
U.S. Ambassador to South Africa Lana Marks told assembled media at OT Tambo International Airport, “We are so proud of our growing partnership with South Africa’s National Defence Forces and our cooperation to ensure peace in the region. This delivery of lifesaving equipment, critically needed here in South Africa, shows how we can leverage the infrastructure of our strong defence cooperation to further bolster the U.S. support to South Africa’s ongoing COVID-19 response.”
The great news is that all the stock that entered the country will be distributed by representatives who work for the United States mission in South Africa to prevent theft and corruption according to the Ambassador.
All of the PPE sent to South Africa has been sent while the United States has itself been fighting the scourge of this virus.
The US has donated the following to South Africa so far regarding Covid 19
12 FFP2 masks.
250 infra-red thermometers.
729000 face masks.
11000 face shields.
“U.S. Africa Command is focused on the mission and the fight against COVID-19. We’ve been working in close coordination with the Department of State and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to provide assistance where we can to the international COVID-19 response,” Lt. Gen. Kirk Smith, deputy commander said. “The contributions of critical personal protective equipment and supplies help South Africa and reflect our commitment to partnership in Africa.”
Separately, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief in Africa (PEPFAR) have worked side-by-side with the South African government throughout the COVID-19 response through the provision of ventilators, oxygen supply, and related training; lab support and preparedness; community health care worker support; and water and sanitation projects.
On behalf of all South Africans thank you for helping our front line workers help us.