African doctors on the frontline of the battle against the spread of COVID-19 have received a timely boost with the arrival of more than 30,000 pieces of personal protective equipment from Minderoo Foundation.
The donation, arranged in partnership with Australian Doctors for Africa (ADFA), consisted of more than 30,000 disposable masks and 480 protective goggles.
The equipment was delivered to Black Lion Hospital (Tikur-Anbessa Specialised Hospital) in Ethiopia, where ADFA has an ongoing role in training local doctors and nurses, and providing volunteer services.
Dr Steve Burnell, Minderoo Foundation’s COVID-19 Response lead, said the donation would help doctors tackle the increasing challenge of COVID-19 in a country which is Africa’s second-most populous but also one of the world’s poorest.
“The World Health Organisation has recently expressed its concerns about accelerating infection rates in Africa – and it’s well-documented that access to modern health care in Ethiopia is limited for many of its 109 million people.” Dr Burnell said.
“The Minderoo Foundation is delighted to be able to assist Ethiopian medical staff who are working tirelessly to detect and treat a virus that has impacted the world on an unprecedented scale.
“We are very pleased to be able to support Australian Doctors for Africa, which is based in Perth, and has been delivering outstanding assistance to health workers across Africa for nearly 15 years.”
Founded in 2005 by leading Western Australian orthopaedic surgeon, Dr Graham Forward, ADFA provides volunteer medical assistance and training in Ethiopia, Madagascar, Somaliland and Comoros.
In the 2018-19 financial year, 63 ADFA volunteers undertook more than 1900 consultations, performed more than 550 surgical procedures and trained more than 420 local medical professionals.
The donation through ADFA is the latest demonstration of Minderoo Foundation’s commitment to tackling the global COVID-19 crisis. The cost of purchasing the PPE equipment and transporting it to Ethiopia was more than $90,000.
Minderoo Foundation has made available up to $320 million to the COVID-19 fight, including the purchase of millions of items of PPE equipment, and is a founding partner of the International COVID-19 Data Research Alliance.
Established by Andrew and Nicola Forrest in 2001, we are a modern philanthropic organisation seeking to break down barriers, innovate and drive positive, lasting change. Minderoo Foundation is proudly Australian, with key initiatives spanning from ocean research and ending slavery, to collaboration in cancer and community projects.