Apple has delivered millions of units of personal protective equipment to the Ministry of Health in Zambia to fight the spread of COVID-19.
In response to the coronavirus, Apple earlier this year started sending its charitable donations through the (Red) nonprofit to help the Global Fund provide critical support to health systems most threatened by the pandemic. This will continue through June 30, 2021.
“As COVID-19 spread across the world, Apple redirected (PRODUCT)RED proceeds toward the Response Mechanism and will continue to do so until June 30, 2021. Apple also donated millions of units of personal protective equipment (PPE) to the Ministry of Health in Zambia. That includes both surgical face masks Apple sourced from its supply chain as well as face shields designed and produced by Apple.”
The Global Fund — as supported by Apple — ramped up COVID-19 testing and educational efforts to spread awareness about COVID-19. Apple’s PPE is being used in hospitals such as Cardinal Adam Memorial Hospital near Mwembeshi, Zambia.
Fighting COVID-19 with PPE
The article also grapples with another point I have heard people raise: What it means for (Red) and Apple’s commitment to fight HIV/AIDS, having temporarily switched tact to help battle coronavirus.
As Apple makes clear, the two efforts are very much linked. Coronavirus disproportionately kills people with preexisting conditions, such as the compromised immune systems of HIV patients. Provision of PPE can help cut the transmission of infections at clinics. This can help people visiting health facilities to get the necessary antiretroviral drugs.
According to the article, Apple has raised almost $250 million toward the Global Fund’s efforts in sub-Saharan Africa. It began working with (Red) in 2006. Since then, it has launched dozens of Product(Red) accessories, including special-edition (Red) iPhones.
During his time as Apple CEO, Tim Cook has greatly expanded Apple’s charitable initiatives. However, the (Red) affiliation was actually started by his predecessor, Steve Jobs.