South African Minister of Health Dr Zweli Mkhize on Thursday received $1.5-million worth of personal protective equipment (PPE), donated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
The donation includes 30 000 surgical masks, 50 000 cover rolls, 3 420 bags of plastic aprons, 50 000 face shields, 1.5-million gloves and 250 infrared thermometers.
“Coincidentally, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was founded in America but has over the years stretched across the world. I am pleased that Elder [S. Mark] Palmer is here to convey the spirit of support and partnership from the church,” said Mkhize.
He stated that the church had a role to play in society – physically and spiritually – and said government acknowledged the role of religious leaders in this country.
Mkhize said Covid-19 has caused severe anxiety in various respects and acknowledged that restrictions relating to places of worship were also a cause for anxiety.
“The level of anxiety at this point is understandable, even more so now that normal communal gatherings where spiritual ministering is possible have been restricted due to the lockdown. We do understand the role played by the church in counselling, therefore dealing with issues of mental anguish and also supporting communities as they go through the stresses of life such as depression... The role of the church in supporting our mental health programme is really appreciated,” Mkhize stated.
Mkhize also acknowledged the role played by the church in the distribution of relief such as food, clothes and other essentials.
“So this kind of gesture from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints illustrated that as government we can rely on our social partners to protect the lives of our people and fight this pandemic,” he ended.