South Africa

UK-Med's David Anderson in South Africa
David Anderson presents at the Forum for Government Communication Infrastructure System.

Status: Completed response

In February, one of UK-Med’s Humanitarian Health Advisors travelled to South Africa as part of the UK Emergency Medical Team. He worked with the World Health Organization and the South Africa Ministry of Health (MoH) to prepare the country’s COVID-19 response.

David Anderson is a senior nurse who has extensive experience in outbreak response, including helping to tackle the Ebola crisis. His expertise includes case management, capacity building and infection prevention and control (IPC) within an outbreak response context.

His work had two main elements: adapting the WHO guidelines for COVID-19 to the South African context, and providing training to a range of healthcare and management staff in preparation for the potential spread of COVID-19.

“It’s a really important thing to make sure that all countries around the world are prepared to deal with pandemics and have the right processes and procedures in place to minimise the spread and the risk” - David Anderson, Humanitarian Health Advisor, UK-Med

How we’ve helped

Key support delivered included:

providing technical support for case management planning

assessing the readiness of health care facilities for COVID-19, identifying gaps and providing resources

developing and reviewing standard operating procedures for COVID-19

further developing guidelines and for home-based care

supplying technical advice for the national preparedness and response plan for COVID-19

developing guidelines on education settings, hospital staffing, accommodation and equipment.


training sessions delivered


people trained

The response in detail

Strategic advice

David gave technical advice to support the development of the National Plan for responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. He also delivered a high level presentation on clinical preparedness and policies for quarantine and mass gatherings.

Information and training

Working with South African partners, David reviewed the standard operating procedures, protocols and algorithms for case management, infection prevention and control. He also provided technical support to the case management team, helping to develop public information on key issues, including transportation, clinical treatment and home-based care

He also supported IPC training and worked with logistics teams to strengthen supply systems for medical equipment, personal protective equipment (PPE) and pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical supplies.

Assessing hospitals

Part of David’s work also included reviewing nine healthcare facilities to assess their preparedness for the pandemic, and supporting them to meet WHO standards for treatment. This involved identifying gaps, and helping them to access the resources needed to fill them.

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

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