Kigali—On Wednesday, August 12, 2020, the United States donated 131 million Rwandan Francs worth of medical supplies to Rwanda to protect doctors, nurses, other medical workers, and their patients from COVID-19. Ambassador Vrooman led the U.S. donation of medical supplies including surgical masks, sterile and disposable gloves, protective boots, and top-of-the-line “N95” airborne-particle filtering respirators. The medical supplies will be rapidly delivered to health workers in 349 public healthcare facilities across the country; including 25 district, provincial, and referral hospitals.
The new protective medical supplies were procured through the United States Department of Defense and handed over to the USAID Ingobyi Project, which works with the Ministry of Health in Rwandan district hospitals, health centers, and at the community level. The open-air, socially distanced handover event took place at the Embassy of the United States of America in Kigali. In addition to the Ambassador, in attendance were Rwanda Biomedical Center Deputy Director General James Kamanzi, USAID Ingobyi Project representatives, USAID/Rwanda Mission Director Leslie Marbury, and U.S. Department of Defense representatives.
The protective medical supplies, known collectively as Personal Protective Equipment, or PPE, are critical for Rwanda’s frontline healthcare workers to stop the spread of COVID-19. The gloves, boots, masks, and respirators allow healthcare workers to protect themselves and to protect patients. This includes patients who need routine or emergency medical care during the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Today’s U.S. donation of medical supplies is part of the more than 11 billion Rwandan Francs that the United States has contributed to the COVID-19 response in Rwanda. This support includes the construction of handwashing stations in districts across Rwanda, support for public communications to fight COVID-19, and other medical supplies such as ventilators, biohazard bags, alcohol, hand washing soap, and hospital beds.
Today’s U.S. donation of medical supplies was supported by the United States Overseas Humanitarian Disaster Assistance and Civic Aid (U.S. OHDACA) funding from the United States Department of Defence (U.S. DOD). U.S. OHDACA funding is a unique Humanitarian Assistance program that builds Rwanda’s Ministry of Heath effectiveness to prepare and respond to COVID-19. U.S. OHDACA funding to Rwanda demonstrates further U.S. commitment to health in Rwanda.