Apple In ZambiaSource: Apple

What you need to know

  • Apple has detailed the work going on to battle COVID-19 and AIDS in Zambia as well as how its PPE donation is helping.

Apple today detailed the fight against COVID-19 and AIDS in Zambia and the struggles that the country continues to face. The company donated "millions of units of personal protective equipment (PPE) to the Ministry of Health in Zambia in an effort to help out.

With Apple's (PRODUCT) RED contributions topping almost $250 million and counting, the COVID-19 situation required a change in how the money was being distributed – and that's exactly what happened.

As COVID-19 spread across the world, Apple redirected (PRODUCT)RED proceeds toward the Response Mechanism and will continue to do so until June 30, 2021. Apple also donated millions of units of personal protective equipment (PPE) to the Ministry of Health in Zambia. That includes both surgical face masks Apple sourced from its supply chain as well as face shields designed and produced by Apple.

As we've found out around the world, PPE is vital to helping prevent the transmission of COVID-19. But getting it to where it needs to be is a challenge at the best of times. It's no different in Zambia – and a lack of PPE had the potential to prevent people from having their AIDS checkups due to the virus, according to median staffer Prosperina Mwanza.

"This provision of PPE will go a long way in cutting the transmission of infections," says Mwanza, who has seen COVID-19 severely impact her clinic, especially for the HIV patients receiving antiretroviral treatment. "The biggest challenge right now is that people stopped coming for follow-ups because they felt they would interact with people that had COVID-19."

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"People are now afraid to go to health facilities," says Siame. "This is a very big issue for people living with HIV because when you talk about COVID-19, it disproportionately kills people with preexisting conditions. So how do you ensure that people on lifelong treatment are supported? At the same time, how do they come to a health facility with an assurance that they are safe? So it's a bit of a difficult balancing act."

You can read more about Apple's PPE efforts, the Global Fund's work, and the situation in Zambia in Apple's Newsroom post as well.

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