LSTM’s ‘Bump it Forward’ campaign, which aims to protect healthcare workers in Africa against the COVID-19 pandemic, has raised over £200,000 and has made further PPE donations in 6 African countries.
The pandemic put fragile health systems under considerable pressure and led to shortages of basic protective equipment which are needed to keep healthcare workers safe. This has resulted in high rates of staff sickness at a time when they are needed most.
Thanks to the generosity of over 3,900 donors, the campaign has raised over £200,000 (inc. Gift Aid), a total that continues to rise. To-date the campaign has committed £151,000 to protect healthcare workers in Malawi, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Liberia and Tanzania.
Commenting on the commitments to Tanzania and Uganda, Hazel Snell, Senior Programme Manager in International Public Health said: “We have long-standing established partnerships in both countries. This support from Bump It Forward will make a real difference. There is a shortage of good quality PPE and sanitiser in the health facilities. These supplies will protect health care workers and patients and contribute to controlling this terrible virus”.
Zeela Zaizay, Country Manager for the REDRESS Programme in Liberia said “The Bump it Forward Campaign will contribute to protecting 207 frontline health workers assigned to 20 rural health facilities in five counties across Liberia. Providing PPE to rural health workers and laboratory staff will contribute to protecting frontline health workers, reducing health facility-acquired COVID-19 among rural dwellers, and reducing out-of-pocket spending for people living in abject poverty.”
In Malawi, around 28,000 pieces of PPE equipment and basic essentials have been provided to four partners health organisations, including The Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, Zomba Central Hospital, Mlambe Mission Hospital and Chikwawa District Health Office.
In Zimbabwe funds have been used to procure over 88,992 piecesof PPE for nine public health facilities.
Primrose Matambanadzo, Programme Director for the Key Populations at CeSHHAR Zimbabwe said; “These facilities support our work in delivering services to vulnerable communities in a difficult environment. They continue to provide services with inadequate supply of PPE and are really grateful to receive these donations to supplement what the Government of Zimbabwe is able to provide.”
It was recently reported that the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine has started to arrive in many African countries via the COVAX programme. This is promising step but could still be some time before they reach all healthcare workers across the continent, so the Bump it Forward campaign will continue to play a vital role in keeping them safe until then.
The Bump it Forward campaign was set up in January in response to the huge challenges faced by thousands of healthcare workers in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Healthcare workers perform the vital role of caring for patients as a second COVID-19 wave has hit many African countries. The pandemic has put fragile health systems under considerable pressure and led to shortages of basic protective equipment which are needed to keep healthcare workers safe. This has resulted in high rates of staff sickness at a time when they are needed most.
For all the latest updates and to donate visit: www.lstmed.ac.uk/bump-it-forward
Follow the campaign on social media using #BumpItForward