The Covid-19 Action Fund for Africa (CAF-Africa) has donated Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to health ministries in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Côte D’Ivoire, and Mali for each nation’s cadre of community health workers (CHWs). CAF-Africa is an action-oriented collaborative of over 30 organizations dedicated to protecting community and frontline health workers in Africa’s COVID-19 response.
CAF-Africa donated over 5 million PPE to Mali. The shipment contained 5,472,000 masks, and 22,529 face shields-PPE required to safeguard health workers providing services at the last-mile.
Sierra Leone received 2 million PPE. The shipment contained 2,3 million masks, and 41,300 face shields.
Côte D’Ivoire received 1 million PPE. The shipment contained 1,120, 000 masks, and 22,306 face shields.
Liberia’s received 3,100 face shields.
According to the World Health Organization, there has been a 203 percent increase in Covid-19 infections amongst health care workers in Africa caused by a lack of PPE. Community health workers (CHWs) provide essential health services such as integrated community case management as well as COVID-19 specific activities. Without adequate PPE, they can neither fight COVID nor ensure communities have access to routine healthcare services.
Since the COVID-19 outbreak began, global demand for PPE has grown by a factor of 100, and prices are up to 20 times higher. While a worldwide shortage of PPE affects all health workers, the brunt has fallen on low- and middle-income countries and community health workers in particular.
The PPE donations already made by CAF-Africa will protect 200,000 CHWs safeguarding community health services during the pandemic.
Including West Africa, CAF-Africa has donated PPE to various countries in East, Central, and South Africa. The COVID-19 Action Fund for Africa’s goal is to raise $100 million to supply PPE to CHWs in over 20 African countries for approximately one year.
The COVID-19 Action Fund for Africa is a continent-wide collaborative effort to aggregate and address the unmet need for COVID-19 related supplies for community health workers across as many as 20 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. CAF-Africa pools resources to secure competitive prices for quality-assured essential supplies and works with in-country partners and governments to deploy products to the last mile.
Integrated with national responses, this is the only known effort that pools resources for PPE items specifically for community health workers in Africa. Over 30 in-country and global partners are involved in the effort. CAF-AFRICA is jointly organized by Community Health Acceleration Partnership, the organizations of the Community Health Impact Coalition (including Integrate Health, Last Mile Health, Living Goods, Lwala Community Alliance, Muso, Partners in Health, Pivot, and VillageReach), Direct Relief, Pandemic Action Network, and Ministries of Health in over 20 countries.
The countries include: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, DRC, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Nigeria, Mali, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Tanzania, Togo, Zambia, Zimbabwe.