UK-Med, as part of the UK Emergency Medical Team (UK EMT)’s deployment in Eswatini, has been extended by four weeks.
Monday 1 March: UK-Med is pleased to announce it will continue to work for a further four more weeks in Eswatini. Although numbers of COVID-19 cases are now low across the country, the extension will enable the team to continue to provide vital support to health services at both the regional and national levels to build the country’s preparedness for any future waves of the virus.
As oxygen supplies have been a particular concern during the most recent wave, the national WHO office and Eswatini’s Ministry of Health have asked for assistance to review and advise on a national plan for sustainable oxygen supply.
UK EMT Deputy Team Lead and Risk Communication & Community Engagement (RCCE) Advisor, Ngoni Nyambawaro, will also be advising the Ministry of Health on national RCCE planning; particularly in relation to a possible vaccination programme.
UK EMT Team Lead, Andy Kent, said:
‘We have a very experienced team here and it was clear very early on in the deployment that we would be able to expand our role and provide additional support to Eswatini health care services.’
Thankfully, the number of COVID-19 cases has been dropping consistently since the surge earlier this year. Daily cases had reached a record high of 326 on 20th January 2021 shortly before the team deployed. By 25th February, this had dropped to 58 new reported cases.
The UK EMT in Eswatini
We have been in Eswatini since 30 January where we have been strengthening health services through specialist care, technical support and training for doctors and nurses. The international team of 11 have specialisms that include critical care, infection prevention and control, risk communications and biomedical engineering.
Over the upcoming weeks, the team will continue teaching healthcare staff with a focus on IPC, PPE, case management and use of oxygen.
We will continue to update on the team’s work on our social media channels.
We’re grateful to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) for UK Aid funding to continue this important work supporting Eswatini’s coronavirus recovery and prepare the country for any future surges of the virus.