Swaziland Partnership Brings Medical Supplies to Those Who Need It Most
By Michael Schoenke | October 14, 2013
Imagine how different this doctor’s life would be if he had an ultrasound machine. Or the smile that could brighten that mother’s face if she could see her child for the first time.
In the United States we often take these medical advances for granted, but in resource-limited countries around the world, doctors operate with the bare essentials and typically don’t have access to the medical supplies they need.
To address these supply shortages, the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) has partnered with the Swaziland Ministry of Health (MOH) and Project C.U.R.E., an international nonprofit organization. The partnership provides EGPAF-supported clinics with nearly U.S. $400,000 in donated medical supplies and equipment, which will be distributed to 12 healthcare facilities and nursing institutions throughout the country.
In March, Project C.U.R.E. conducted a “baseline assessment” to determine the types of equipment and supplies the clinics would need. Local health workers completed a detailed questionnaire which was then extensively reviewed by EGPAF and Project C.U.R.E. staff to match need with available supplies.
During the assessment, several types of medical equipment were identified as “key needs,” including ultrasound and diagnostic scanners, digital blood pressure machines, and portable x-rays, along with neonatal equipment such as incubators, fetoscopes, beds, delivery tables, wheel chairs, and baby cots.
“Our goal is to always send items that are needed,” said Dr. Douglas Jackson, Project C.U.R.E’s President and C.E.O. “We are cautious and conscious about the sustainability of our donations.”
For 24 years, Project C.U.R.E. has equipped resource-limited countries with customized, donated medical supplies; enabling doctors, and nurses around the world to provide quality medical care at despite their location.
Swaziland has one of the highest prevalence HIV/AIDS in the world – an estimated 41 percent of pregnant women are HIV-positive. In response to the devastating effects of the epidemic in the country, the government of Swaziland has mounted a strong national HIV response through the rapid scale-up of the prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV program.
EGPAF’s partnership with Project C.U.R.E is made possible by “Elimination of Pediatric AIDS in Swaziland” (EPAS), a U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) program aimed at scaling up access to PMTCT services to 100 percent of public facilities in the country. The partnership has played a key role in supporting EGPAF and the MOH’s efforts to strengthen healthcare systems, improve access to PMTCT and care and treatment services in the country. We are truly excited about our partnership with Project C.U.R.E. and hope that the partnership can expand to other countries as we continue efforts to eliminate Pediatric HIV globally.
You can learn more about Project C.U.R.E. by visiting their website here.
To learn more about EGPAF’s work toward eliminating pediatric HIV in Swaziland, click here.
EGPAF’s Country Officer for Swaziland, Michael Schoenke and Thembie Masuku. Program Manager for EGPAF Swaziland, contributed to this blog.