Lusaka, September 7th 2020 – As part of its Covid-19 Emergency Response Programme (CERP), the Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank (TDB) has donated locally-procured personal protective equipment (PPE) and Covid-19 testing consumables to Zambia, in collaboration with the country’s Ministry of Health, Zambia Private Hospitals Association (ZPHA) and Zambia National Public Health Institute (ZNPHI).
The donation comprises: 200 N-95 masks, 1,500 biohazard bags, 200 coveralls, 250 faceshields, 1,500 gloves, 600 surgical gowns, 1,000 shoe covers, 5,000 safe-lock tubes, and 300 storage boxes, as well as Covid-19 testing consumables including 1,000 swab collection kits and 1,250 testing machine.
The equipment was handed over during a ceremony which took place on the 27th of August 2020 at the Ministry of Health, by, on behalf of TDB, Prof. Oliver Sasaa, Co-Chairman of the Board of Directors of the TDB Trade and Development Fund, and former Chairman of the TDB Board of Directors and of Zambia’s Public Service Pensions Fund, to Dr. Kennedy Malama, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health.
While PPEs will ensure that Zambian health care workers who operate in the eye of the storm effectively protect themselves against the virus, the testing consumables will help increasing testing capacity particularly in urban areas, where the potential for infections is higher.
Prof. Sasaa said that “Zambia still has low infection rates compared to global numbers. There are currently 3 active testing laboratories and 3 more are being set-up. That said, the number of cases has been rising more rapidly in the past few weeks. The additional equipment will ensure that the country has the capacity to absorb the additional pressure placed on its health care system, and that it is able to continue treating Covid as well as non-Covid patients.”
Admassu Tadesse, TDB President and Chief Executive added that: “as Eastern and Southern Africa’s development finance partner, it is our responsibility to contribute to our region’s Governments’ efforts in boosting its preparedness capacity to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic, with what is currently most needed. With similar intervention under way in all of TDB’s Member States, in solidarity with various partners including the African Union’s Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), we look forward to making a difference in preventing the spread of the virus in our region, and mitigating its impacts.”
ZNPHI is a national public health institute that surveys, researches, coordinates public health emergencies & preparedness and equips the national surveillance system with high quality data on all national notifiable & priority diseases. During the current crisis, ZNPHI was mandated to coordinate Covid-19 testing centers.
CERP is part of TDB’s COVID-19 broad response plan which in addition to this type of direct assistance – including for example the donation of PPEs, implementation of water, sanitation and hygiene interventions, support to local SMEs, and to women and youth employment, among other actions – also comprises financing interventions for enterprises, sovereigns and financial institutions via TDB’s operations complex.
Established in 1985, the Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank (TDB) is a multilateral, treaty-based, investment-grade development financial institution, with assets of US$6.7bn. The Bank’s mandate is to finance and foster trade, regional economic integration and sustainable development through trade finance and project and infrastructure finance.
Anne-Marie Iskandar, Senior Communications Officer
Corporate Affairs and Investor Relations
Trade and Development Bank
Ministry of Health
Dr. Jabulani Munalula