As the world continues to battle with the Covid-19 pandemic, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Republic of Korea on Monday presented lifesaving equipment and Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test kits for COVID-19 to the Government of The Gambia through the Ministry of Health as part of Covid-19 response.
The materials donated include; PCR test kits from The Republic of Korea (worth USD 200,000) and lifesaving ventilators from WHO, (worth over USD100,000). In addition, 25 boxes of Reagents for reference samples from the West African Health Organisation (worth $3,700) were also presented.
The items, which were packed in cartons, are said to be worth over D15.7 million and were handed over at a presentation held at Central Medical Store in Kotu.
Presenting the items, Dr. Desta Tiruneh, World Health Organisation (WHO) Representative in The Gambia, acknowledged that whilst The Gambia continues to perform a remarkable job in enforcing Covid-19 public health regulations, it is important to maintain the momentum to curtail the risk of high transmission and ensure constant provision of essential supplies like oxygen and essential medicines.
« As the world continues to struggle with the Covid-19 pandemic with the weekly numbers of cases hitting a record high last week and in some countries as we speak face an overwhelming surge in Cocid-19 patients, it is important for countries especially developing countries with fragile health systems to remain alert and tighten the pandemic response measures. »
In this regard, Dr. Tiruneh stated that WHO through its nurture of external relations with bilateral and multilateral partners that WHO is presenting equipment and supplies to support government of The Gambia’s accelerated response to the pandemic in the face of a global threat of a second wave. »
« Materials presented include equipment procured directly by WHO and worth over a hundred thousand dollars (US$100,000) 4- Ventilators and accessories consisting of Ventilator trolleys, air compressors and spare parts. This is complemented by the donation of the Republic of South Korea to The Gambia through WHO of Covid-19 test kits worthy nearly two hundred thousand dollars (US$200,000) consisting of 200 Real Time Detection Kits (RT-PCR) and 192 extraction Kits; as well as twenty five (25) boxes of Reagents for reference sample from the West African Health Organisation (WAHO) worth three thousand, seven hundred dollars (US$3,700). »
The donation to the national health authorities, he said, marks another milestone in supporting the country’s fight against Covid-19 pandemic. « It also demonstrates the partnership and collaboration needed to fight against the epidemic. »
He thanked frontline workers and the Ministry of Health for their efforts and commitment in the handling of this global pandemic.
He assured his institution on behalf of the UN agencies and development partners continued support to The Gambia in containing and managing this current health emergency.
Receiving the items, Dr. Ahmadou Lamin Samateh, minister for Health, reiterated the need for all hands on deck to eradicate the global pandemic, saying they would continue to accord it the seriousness it deserves.
Minister Samateh noted that day-by-day, their efforts get stronger, recalling that in the past they’ve received quality life saving health equipment from the Republic of South Korea.
« The materials will go a long way to ensure early detection and management of COVID-19. Our partners have seen that their support and resources are important to the people of The Gambia and they are very vigilant to see judicious use of all donated resources and we are ready to do so. » he added.
However, in order to deal with the pandemic, Minister Samateh stressed the need for people to know their status as well as contact tracing.
« Our testing quality is strengthened by the day. The capacity has been increased. However, we need consistent supply of test kits. And here today, we are receiving another test kits from the Republic of South Korea. »
The Health minister acknowledged that Covid-19 is a public health challenge for the entire world, adding that a lot has been said about the disease and a lot has been known about the disease as well.
« Government will continue to promote the health of Gambians, as the leadership has been supportive since day one, » he added.
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