27 April 2020 – Through the Global Fund, the United Nations Development Programme in Zimbabwe is glad to support the Coronavirus (COVID-19) response, through the procurement of personal protective equipment for frontline health workers to a value of US$4.1 million dollars.

Since the first cases were observed in late 2019, COVID-19 has put a heavy burden on health systems globally.

In anticipation of a similar burden in Zimbabwe, UNDP is supporting the Ministry of Health and Child Care to acquire gloves, gowns and masks for health workers. The US $4.1 million was sourced from savings realised from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund) programme in Zimbabwe.

“Due to the infectious nature of COVID-19, it is critical that our frontline health workers are protected and feel safe to provide the best care for patients” said UNDP Zimbabwe Resident Representative, Georges van Montfort.

The personal protective equipment to be acquired includes over 710,000 surgical and respirator masks, 5 million surgical gloves, 20,000 medical gowns and 10,000 heavy duty aprons. The procurement will also include over 30,000 litres of hand sanitizer and other cleaning materials. To promote Zimbabwean businesses in these challenging times, wherever possible equipment will be sourced from local companies.

We are making all efforts for speedy delivery of the equipment. However , due to increased global demand and the strain on freight and logistics services, deliveries will be staggered - some expected to arrive in 2-3 weeks , others anticipated by the end of May 2020.

In addition to the personal protective equipment, UNDP is partnering the Government, sister UN agencies and private sector to engage communities on information dissemination; support youth-led business working on the COVID-19 response, and to support the informal sector. Further options for Global Fund support to the COVID response by the health sector are also being considered.   

UNDP is the principal recipient of Global Fund grant for HIV and AIDS in Zimbabwe. Amongst others, the grant is helping over 710,000 patients with provision of Anti-Retroviral Therapy and has provided solar energy to 405 health facilities to power critical operations.

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For more information and media interviews, contact:

Anesu Freddy

UNDP Communications Associate

anesu.freddy@undp.org

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