Government of Germany and UNICEF hand over Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to reinforce infection prevention and control (IPC) for health service delivery in Sierra Leone as part of COVID-19 response

An effort to strengthen Sierra Leone’s health delivery system during the current response to COVID-19

29 June 2022
Two ladies and a gentle man hold a box inside a building in Freetown.
unicefsierraleone/2022/Davies
UNICEF Chief of Health and Nutrition hands over Personal Protective Equipment from the German Government to the Ministry of Health and Sanitation.

Freetown - The Government of Germany, in co-operation with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has officially handed over Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to the Ministry of Health and Sanitation to reinforce infection prevention and control (IPC) for health service delivery in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and other public health emergencies in Sierra Leone.

The consignment, which is valued at US$ 500,000 consists of 367,500 masks, 710,750 gloves, 25,000 gowns, 32,500 face-shields, 11,500 coveralls, 1,000 boots, and 500 goggles. The proper use of quality-assured PPE is crucial to prevent exposure to infectious diseases, including COVID-19. Therefore, these PPEs handed over today will supplement supplies available to protect health workers against COVID-19, ensure continuity of essential health care services, and improve the country’s capacity to prepare and respond against other potentially fatal communicable diseases such as the Ebola, Lassa and Marburg viruses.

“As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Sierra Leone has been faced with enormous health challenges, like other countries around the world. As we received the personal protective equipment which our health care workers need to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Sierra Leone is appreciative of the support of the Government of Germany, through UNICEF to the people of Sierra Leone for the assistance provided in combating the COVID-19 pandemic and improving the health of the population,” said Dr. Austin Demby, Minister of Health and Sanitation.

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, attention has been given to ensure that health workers, who are at the frontlines of the response, remain safe and protected from infection so that delivery of essential services will continue while COVID-19 cases are effectively managed.

With new cases of the virus still being confirmed and the threat of disease outbreaks other than COVID-19 across the world, including in Sierra Leone, the safety of health workers remains a top priority.

This support from the Government of Germany is part of a Euro 26 million grant to support 49 countries to enhance Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) of health service delivery, including for COVID-19 vaccination, routine immunisations and primary healthcare during the pandemic.

In May this year, Sierra Leone was also a recipient 345,600 doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccines from the Government of Germany, which were received through the COVAX Facility.

“Germany makes a major effort in fighting the pandemic, worldwide. Covid-19 is not defeated until it is defeated everywhere. In Sierra Leone, German cooperation has helped in the fight of epidemics, HIV, Ebola, Covid-19. We remain engaged in epidemic prevention and health system strengthening.” Said German Ambassador Horst Gruner.

UNICEF has been at the forefront of supporting Sierra Leone’s COVID-19 prevention and response strategies, including supporting the procurement of COVID-19 supplies such as PPEs, IPC supplies, vaccines, oxygen delivery and other medical equipment and commodities. In addition, UNICEF has also supported procurement of non-COVID health and nutrition supplies such as vaccines, nutrition therapeutic supplies, and the country’s Free Health Care drugs.

“In the country like Sierra Leone where maternal and child mortality is high and preventable illnesses such as malaria, acute respiratory illnesses and diarrheal diseases are still responsible for nearly half of under-five deaths, disruptions in essential health and nutrition services can have detrimental effects. This generous contribution from the Government of Germany helps in ensuring continuity of essential health services.  With global high demand for PPE during this pandemic, it is only the right thing to ensure that PPEs remain available for our health care workers to be safe and protected as they deliver on their duties at the frontlines,” said UNICEF Representative, Dr. Suleiman Braimoh.

Officials from the Government of Sierra Leone, Government of Germany and UNICEF witnessed the official handover of the PPE to the Ministry of Health and Sanitation.

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Tapuwa Loreen Mutseyekwa
Communication Specialist
UNICEF Sierra Leone
Tel: +232 76 100 532
Tel: +232 76 601 310

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