ICMIF member, Professional Provident Society (PPS) based in South Africa, has set ZAR 50 million (USD 2.7 million) aside towards the fight against the coronavirus in their country. Half of this funding will be used to purchase personal protective equipment (PPEs) for the safety of medical professionals in both public and private practice while they deliver critical services in the fight to save lives. The rest is reserved for deployment in response to additional needs that will arise as South Africa learns more about the pandemic, and observes learnings from around the world.
The PPEs include N-95 masks, surgical masks and gloves, aprons and visors of the highest quality and compliant with the regulations of the World Health Organization and the South African Department of Health.
“As an organisation that places the interests and well-being of professionals at the heart of our mutual ethos, we are proud to play our part in protecting our doctors, specialists and healthcare workers operating in high risk areas where exposure to the coronavirus is at its most critical,” says Dr. Altus van der Merwe, Chair Risk Committee at PPS.
In mid-April 2020, the World Health Organization predicted that coronavirus cases in Africa could surge to 10 million within three to six months. Currently, there are 52 African countries with infections and over 22,000 cases on the continent. The major concern about the pandemic and rate of infection is that many countries, including South Africa, will run out of PPEs for frontline medical staff and other essential health workers. Business for South Africa, an organisation that coordinates the corporate response to the Covid-19 crisis, emphasised that the country still needs vast quantities of personal protective equipment (PPE). This includes 72 million pairs of gloves and 82 million face masks.
PPS consulted with industry role players regarding where and what the immediate needs are, and will distribute essentials appropriately to bolster medical services as the pandemic evolves. An innovative approach to distribution is that PPS will use pharmaceutical distribution channels to ensure that supplies reach those professionals who live or practice in the more remote areas of the country.
“Without strong and healthy medical professionals willing to sacrifice and risk all in taking care of the ill and halting the spread of the virus, the ability to succeed will be severely impacted. We respect and thank all our healthcare practitioners for their dedication and selflessness in taking care of those struck down by this pervasive and crippling virus,” said Izak Smit, CEO at PPS.
PPS is an authorised financial services provider.