US injects US$3 million towards Zimbabwe’s COVID-19 fight
THE United States of America (USA) Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) has extended a US$3 million fund which will go towards Zimbabwe’s Covid19 fight.
In a statement, the US announced the donation is part of the funds from thea U.S. Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to support Zimbabwe’s COVID-19 National Preparedness and Response Plan.
“This new donation brings to over US$6 million the total amount that the United States has committed to the fight against COVID-19 in Zimbabwe, while continuing to respond to the increasingly dire humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe,” the statement said.
However, just like most international organisations handing over donations to Zimbabwe, the new funding will not be directly handed to President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration.
“CDC will award the new funding in early May 2020 through existing CDC Zimbabwe implementing partners: ICAP at Columbia University, the Biomedical Research & Training Institute (BRTI), and the International Training & Education Center for Health (ITECH),” said the US in a statement.
The programs will increase laboratory diagnostic capacity; enhance central and district-level surveillance; strengthen infection, prevention, and control in healthcare facilities; and support vaccine preparedness.
CDC also announced it will use approximately US$75,000, part of the US$150,000 previously announced President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) funds, to support COVID-19 prevention measures for people living with HIV.
CDC Zimbabwe has several public health experts serving and supporting as co-chairs and technical experts in government entities established by Zimbabwe’s national plan, including: surveillance and epidemiology, infection prevention and control, laboratory, case management, and risk communication and community engagement.
The center’s technical assistance, together with other partner support, has assisted the Government of Zimbabwe to develop COVID-19 case definitions, protocols for surveillance, contact tracing, quarantine, infection prevention and control, treatment, and diagnostic testing.
Said CDC, “The goal of the CDC and U.S. global health response to COVID-19 is to limit human-to-human transmission and minimise the global impact of COVID-19 through partnership with countries, multilateral and non-governmental partners to mitigate vulnerabilities and gaps in preparedness.
“This U.S. funding and technical support builds on our long-standing partnership and investments to contribute to a healthier Zimbabwe,” said Dr. Kelsey Mirkovic, CDC Acting Country Director.
The United States has invested over US$370 million in health, humanitarian and development assistance in 2019 and works tirelessly to ensure that we maintain critical health and humanitarian assistance activities, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.