Status: Current response

With coronavirus case numbers rising rapidly in Eswatini, UK-Med has sent a team of 11 medics and operational staff to support the country’s COVID-19 response as part of the UK Emergency Medical Team. 

We’ll be working with the Eswatini Ministry of Health to strengthen health services by delivering specialist care and technical support, and training doctors and nurses.

Coronavirus is now present in all four regions of Eswatini, a country of 1.1 million people. As of 26 January, 14,622 people have tested positive for the virus, and 493 have sadly died.

Eswatini has 11 COVID-19 treatment centres with 437 beds in total. But a lack of biomedical engineers has made it difficult to install and maintain adequate intensive care equipment.

The country currently has just 29 intensive care beds, all of which are full. Although more beds are available, there isn’t enough oxygen or trained critical care doctors and nurses.

Our team will help save lives and stop health services becoming overwhelmed.


UK-Med team members responding


intensive care beds


coronavirus treatment centres

How we’re helping

Led by Andy Kent, UK-Med’s surgical lead, our team includes members from the UK, Nigeria, Kenya, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

As well as doctors and nurses specialising in critical care and infection prevention and control (IPC), we’re sending specialists in risk communications and biomedical engineering.

Their activities will include:

Working as a specialised care team to help health services cope with the increasing numbers of patients needing high and critical care.

Making sure people who need critical care for coronavirus get high quality treatment, in line with national and World Health Organization guidelines.

Working alongside national healthcare staff, and providing training and on the job-supervision.

Training, supervising and mentoring biomedical staff in the use of support equipment for COVID-19 care.

Installing oxygen concentrators to help treatment centres use oxygen more efficiently.

Providing technical support to local counterparts, at both national and sub-national levels.

We’ll post more updates as our response develops over the coming weeks.

Read more about our COVID-19 responses around the world.

We’re grateful to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) for UK Aid funding from the British people to fund this important response.