Addis Ababa: The African Development Bank’s Board of Directors approved on Wednesday 27.33 million USD in grants to boost the African Union’s (AU) efforts to mobilize a continental response to curb the COVID-19 pandemic.
The grant will support the implementation of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) COVID-19 Pandemic Preparedness and Response Plan through strengthening surveillance at various points of entry in the continent.
It also helps build sub-regional and national capacity for epidemiological surveillance; and ensuring the availability of testing materials and personal protective equipment for frontline workers deployed in hot spots.
President of the African Development Bank (ADB), Akinwumi Adesina said “with this financing package, we are reaffirming our strong commitment to a coordinated African response in the face of COVID-19.”
The support also signals that collectively, the continent can address the pandemic that is causing unprecedented socio-economic impacts on the continent, he added.
According to ADB, at the beginning of February 2020, only two reference laboratories in Senegal and in South Africa could run tests for COVID-19 on the continent.
The Africa CDC, working with governments, the World Health Organization, and several development partners and public health institutes, have increased this capacity to 44 countries currently.
Despite this progress, Africa’s testing capacity remains low, with the 37 African Development Fund eligible countries accounting for only 40 percent of completed COVID-19 tests to date. for 37
Source: Ethiopia News agency