Addressing the shortage of PPE endangering Mildmay’s health workers in East Africa
Today, we are launching an appeal to send personal protective equipment (PPE) to Mildmay in Africa.
Mildmay UK is taking action to address the chronic shortage of PPE in East Africa by securing our own supplies to ship directly to our sister charities in Kenya and Uganda.
We are asking for your donations to help us purchase gloves, masks and protective coverings to ship to our teams in Mildmay Kenya and Mildmay Uganda, so they can minimise the risks of COVID infection and safely continue their work with the most vulnerable and hard-to-reach people living with and affected by HIV and other related health issues.
In 2020, Mildmay Mission Hospital in the UK was faced with severe shortages of PPE in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, putting our staff and patients at extreme risk
We were overwhelmed by the generosity of the British public; the networks of volunteers around the UK who worked tirelessly to make us gowns and scrubs in their living rooms and kitchens, and those individuals and small groups who sourced supplies of equipment to send to us, so our staff could continue the work of the hospital.
Right across Africa, shortages continue to leave doctors, nurses and other frontline workers (including our volunteers) dangerously ill-equipped, due to ongoing limited access to supplies such as gloves, medical masks, respirators, goggles, face shields, gowns, and aprons.
Since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, prices have surged. Surgical masks have seen a sixfold increase, N95 respirators have trebled, and gowns have doubled. Supplies can take months to deliver and market manipulation is widespread, with stocks frequently sold to the highest bidder.
Our healthcare workers rely on PPE to protect themselves and their patients from being infected and from infecting others. Current evidence suggests that people living with HIV have a higher risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID-19. People living with HIV who are not on treatment or virally suppressed may be at an even greater risk.
Mildmay Kenya has teams of over 300 volunteers working on the frontline of some of the most and hard to reach rural communities.
Mildmay Uganda is in its final year of implementing the 5-year CDC-supported Accelerating Epidemic Control Project in the Mubende Region. The primary objective of this project is to accelerate HIV/AIDS epidemic control and attain the UNAIDS 90-90-90 goals. It is also heavily involved in the country’s COVID-vaccination programme.
It is essential that we ensure the safety of our teams and the vulnerable people they have continued to work with throughout the pandemic, so please give generously so we can start shipping PPE as soon as possible.