UK funding provides welcome support for COVID-19 preparations on St Helena

The UK Government has provided funding, through the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF), for additional medical staff to support St Helena’s COVID-19 preparations.

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed this week between the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and St Helena Government (SHG) for £380,000 to fund a general doctor, physiotherapist, anaesthetist, biomedical scientist, two ITU nurses and five general nurses. The funding will cover the costs for all posts for six months, apart from the physiotherapist (which will be covered for three months). These staff will bolster St Helena’s existing health service and increase our capacity to respond to the threat of COVID-19.

The UK Government is committed to supporting St Helena during this pandemic and is working closely with SHG and the Health Directorate to identify their needs and provide support.

This funding is part of a wider package of support the UK Government is providing to help ensure the safety of St Helena’s residents. Previous support has included supporting St Helena with procuring the PCR machine for COVID-19 testing, which has enabled St Helena to conduct its own testing on-Island for the first time. Medical supplies, public health advice and access for people and vital supplies has also been provided by the UK Government.

The UK Government has also funded a telemedicine service, delivered through International SOS, which links clinicians on St Helena and other Overseas Territories to a pool of international medics. This provision of clinical advice will help decision making in critical care cases.

Members of the IEG visit to the COVID-19 Testing Facilities

Governor’s Office, St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha

4 June 2020

St Helena Government Communications Hub

Telephone: 22470