US avails US$2m coronavirus war chest
SENIOR STAFF WRITER
THE United States Agency for International Development (USAid) has availed an additional US$2 million towards strengthening Zimbabwe’s coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic response.
This comes as the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) recently revealed that US$32 million was required to enhance the country’s coronavirus response management and procure the necessary clinical equipment for handling cases.
Last month, the US, through the USAid and US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), availed over US$8 million to support the country’s Covid-19 national preparedness and response plan.
US Ambassador Brian Nichols yesterday said the additional funding was expected to assist in increasing Covid-19 testing, treatment, and prevention activities.
“The United States remains a long-standing development partner for the people of Zimbabwe. We work tirelessly to ensure that we maintain critical health and humanitarian assistance activities, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“This funding will provide support to over 670 health facilities to effectively and efficiently respond to Covid-19 cases and train over 8 200 doctors, nurses, other health workers, and rapid response teams.
“In addition, USAid will support laboratories with transporting test samples. This assistance will also help disseminate reliable information by supporting community radio and social media campaigns, and printing nationally coordinated materials, to reach over a million people,” Nichols said.
He added that to meet these objectives, USAid had partnered with the Organisation for Public Health Interventions and Development, Africaid, FHI 360 and Population Services International.
Some of the medical equipment needed to enhance the country’s Covid-19 response include 108 ventilators, 110 patient monitors and 167 suction machines.
Zimbabwe has recorded 178 Covid-19 cases, 29 recoveries and four deaths, with doctors expressing concern over an increase in the number of locally transmitted cases.