“Our primary strategy for COVID-19 in Africa is to limit transmission and minimize harm.”
The UK Department for International Development (DFID) and British medical research trust Wellcome have donated €2.6 million to the African Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to support the pan-African response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The grant is intended to boost implementation of the Africa Joint Continental Strategy for the COVID-19 Outbreak.
“Having research at the center of the COVID-19 response is critical if we must end the pandemic,” said Dr. Josie Golding, head of the epidemic department at Wellcome.
Golding expressed satisfaction with the Wellcome-CDC cooperation, saying: “Through our partnership with DFID, Wellcome is supporting the important work of Africa CDC and countries across Africa to deal with the rapid spread of the COVID-19.”
“It is vital that the world comes together, especially to support countries that have weaker health systems, limited resources, and vulnerable populations,” the epidemiologist added, calling for global cooperation.
Since the diagnosis of the first case of COVID-19 in Africa, African Union (AU) member states have been working closely together to develop a streamlined, continental response to the pandemic, said a press release from the CDC on April 21.
“Our primary strategy for Africa is to limit transmission and minimize harm,” said Dr. John Nkengasong, director of Africa CDC.
The Wellcome-DFID fund will “enhance the efforts of Africa CDC in strengthening institutional capacity across Africa.”
The grant will lay the foundations for direct technical assistance to AU member states in the training, exchange of information and good practices, essential medical equipment, and research.
According to daily updates from the CDC, 25,937 people have tested positive for the virus in Africa.
North Africa remains the hardest-hit region on the continent, with 10,990 confirmed cases. So far, 867 people have died after contracting the virus.
Egypt has reported 3,659 cases of the virus, while Morocco has reported 3,537 confirmed diagnoses.
The Algerian government has reported 2,910 confirmed cases, while the number of cases in Tunisia sits at 909. Libya has so far confirmed 59 cases.
The number of cases in West Africa continues to rise rapidly, with the total reaching 6,183 on April 22.
Ghana has confirmed 1,154 positive diagnoses, while Cote d’Ivoire inches towards the 1,000 mark with 952.
Nigeria (873), Guinea (761), and Niger (662) are expanding testing capacity to meet the growing need.
In Southern Africa, 3,893 people have tested positive for the virus, with the majority in South Africa (3,635).
East Africa has reported 2,823 confirmed cases, while the number of cases in Central Africa has reached 2,048.