Ladies and gentlemen,
It is a great pleasure for me to be with you today at this handover ceremony – an activity that I take pride in doing on behalf of my government and the people of the United States. The United States Government is pleased to partner with the Ministry of Defense in improving public health in Swaziland and we are confident that the health facility, medical supplies, and equipment we are donating today will go a long way in helping to strengthen health care delivery for members of the military and the general public.
The United States Government, through our Department of Defense HIV/AIDS Prevention Program (or DHAPP, as we call it), built an inpatient medical ward worth more than $250,000, provided a potable water supply for the Mbuluzi Training Unit Clinic worth almost $48,000, and partnered with Project C.U.R.E. to donate medical supplies and equipment worth nearly $800,000 for USDF, His Majesty’s Correctional Services, and Swaziland Hospice at Home.
Following a request from the USDF to provide an inpatient facility to support comprehensive care for soldiers in home-based care, the U.S. Government provided a prefabricated structure now located at Phocweni Clinic, to serve this purpose. The U.S. Government had previously provided a vehicle for supporting homed-based care. We trust that the new clinic, however, will alleviate the problem of having to travel long distances to visit soldiers needing follow up care resulting from HIV and AIDS-related illnesses and will allow for more timely and efficient services.
Also part of today’s handover ceremony is the provision of a potable water supply for the Mbuluzi Training Unit. Despite servicing a large number of troops as the primary location for recruit and other USDF training, the USDF clinic at Mbuluzi has been operating since 2009 without potable water. This project pumps water from the nearby Mbuluzi River to the unit where it is stored and purified for use by the clinic and the unit.
The donated supplies and equipment were sourced from Project C.U.R.E., a U.S.-based nonprofit organization. With funding from our President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the United States Department of Defense worked closely with Project C.U.R.E. and local partners to conduct a baseline assessment to determine the types of equipment and supplies health facilities most needed and then proceeded with procuring those items and where necessary, shipping the supplies from the U.S.. The consignment contains vital equipment for maternity care, child welfare, and general health care services.
The medical supplies and equipment will be distributed to eight USDF health care facilities, eight Correctional Services facilities and the Swaziland hospice at Home facility to strengthen care, treatment, and support for staff and communities. I believe that all three of the projects demonstrate the longstanding and productive partnership enjoyed between the United States and Swaziland. Through PEPFAR, the Department of Defense HIV/AIDS Prevention Program, and other programs, the United
States Government has and will continue to promote the health and well-being of the people of Swaziland. And, trusting that our partnership with Project C.U.R.E. and the Swazi government will grow, we are excited to work together towards creating an AIDS-free generation. We are confident that these supplies and equipment will be used appropriately and that health services for members of the military and the general public will be improved as a result. Thank you.