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  • Shaun Bateman

Unique partnership set to heed President's call to fight COVID19

The COVID-19 pandemic has actioned a partnership between two of South Africa's foremost organisations to leverage their skills and resources to help stem the tide of one of the largest pandemics in recent history.


Leading international waste management company, Averda, has announced a strategic partnership with Africa's largest disaster response NGO, Gift of the Givers, to provide much needed medical waste management services to its mobile testing stations across the country free of charge for the duration of the current lockdown period.


The efforts of both Averda and Gift of the Givers are providing much crucial support to health care facilities that are already stretched to capacity. The willingness of these organisations to come to the aid of the country demonstrates the leadership that is required to protect vulnerable communities from the virus.


Gift of the Givers Founder, Dr Imtiaz Sooliman believes that providing assistance to the government and to our society's most vulnerable sets an example to the country’s NGO's to actively participate in the fight against this pandemic.

“Our mobile testing station initiative will assist government in meeting the diagnostic demands of Covid-19 by providing NICD approved lab testing at discounted rates”, he said.

The large quantity of infected medical waste generated by testing for this highly contagious virus means that efficient waste management of high-risk healthcare isolation waste and disposal is critical. On a pro bono basis, Averda will manage the disposal of contaminated waste from these mobile Covid-19 testing stations which have been established by the Gift of the Givers in key locations across the country.


Averda CEO, Malek Sukkar commented that over and above this,

“Averda will supply waste containers to all testing stations and provide training and skills development on waste storage and disposal to staff at these testing stations - enabling the safety and protection of health care workers.”

Sukkar believes that the COVID-19 pandemic constitutes an unprecedented challenge for all of humanity and that meeting and overcoming this challenge involves breaking down invisible barriers between public and private, commercial and NGO, businesses and people.

“This virus threatens all of us, and so we must all act as one. Averda has the resource and the skill set to remove and manage waste safely, protecting hygiene standards, which is key to fighting the virus. We are ready to serve; and we are in active and productive discussions about how we can best do so."

"We are proud to be working with Averda, who have taken the lead in providing critical services to fill resource gaps that would have detrimental effects on the most vulnerable communities, if not addressed”, said Dr Sooliman.
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