In a bid to support Africa in the fight against coronavirus, the Government of Japan has donated the sum of US$ 1 million to the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) for effective emergency health response.
It explained that the grant is aimed at implementing the Africa Joint Continental Strategy for coronavirus and also to strengthen the capacity of Africa CDC Regional Collaboration Centres for effective and efficient communication and knowledge exchange on the viral infection among member states, as well as to support infection prevention and control activities and improve clinical case management of COVID-19.
The Director of Africa CDC, Dr. John Nkengasong, said that the Japan government donated the amount through the Permanent Mission of Japan to the African Union after a noticeable increase in the continent’s confirmed cases of the deadly respiratory disease.
Nkengasong, through a statement released yesterday, noted that the increase in cases of the virus may not be unconnected to a gradual easing of lockdown after increasing pressure on governments to re-open economies after almost four months of lockdowns.
He noted that the development necessitated the need to intensify public health, social measures, and to increase testing and contact tracing at the community level which the donations from Japan, among other donors, would help in procuring needed test kits and train the workforce needed to support contact tracing.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is gaining momentum in Africa and this is the time to see more partnership and more solidarity from around the world. Countries must plan to ease the lockdowns safely. We must increase mass wearing of masks, expand testing and engage the community if we must win the war against this virus,” the statement read.
He explained that the Africa Joint Continental Strategy for COVID-19 was set up to prevent severe illness and deaths associated with the infection in African Union Member States, minimize social disruption, and mitigate the economic consequences of COVID-19.
Nkengasong, however, said that the grant from Japan would be expended on galvanizing the goals of the continental strategy and support efforts to get Africa back on track in its continental integration and development agenda.