Ghana, as the Continent’s aviation hub today received life-sustaining medical supplies from the Government of China to support 18 African countries to stem the spread and contain COVID-19 pandemic.
The supplies contain personal protection equipment and medical facilities including N95 face masks, medical protective suits, goggles, gloves, thermometers, and ventilators.
Beneficiary countries are Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, Gabon, Siera Leone, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Cote d’ Ivoire and the Gambia.
The rest are Liberia, Mali, Burkina Faso, Equatorial Guinea, Togo, Benin, Republic of Congo, Cape Verde, Sao Tome, and Principe.
Madam Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration who took delivery of the consignment at a brief ceremony at the Kotoka International Airport on behalf of the other beneficiary countries thanked the government and people of China for the support.
She stated that the gesture was a testament of the enduring and exemplary relations between China and Africa which was anchored on the principles of sincerity, equality, mutual benefit, solidarity and common development.
Madam Botchwey said it was a clear sign of China’s sense of reciprocal solidarity for African countries in these challenging times.
“Indeed, in the immediate aftermath of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in Wuhan, African countries led the way in offering solidarity to China of which Ghana’s President and Vice President sent solidarity messages to their Chinese counterparts,” she noted.
The Minister said the Government of Ghana had instituted including the establishment of COVID-19 structures at the national, regional and district levels; the sourcing and allocation of funds, the restriction of movement of people, and the procurement of critical PPEs and other logistics, to halt the spread of the disease.
The country’s health institutions were expanding its testing coverage to include all persons believed to have come into contact with confirmed cases, people who entered Ghana between March, 3-21, as well as people living in areas identified as epicenters.
Madam Botwey said the country’s research institutions continue to explore treatment and vaccine options for the novel virus.
Mr Shi Ting Wang, China’s Ambassador to Ghana who presented the items said his country had its fair share of the devastating impact of COVID-19 and was still nursing its wounds.
He said the PPEs that were used to protect the frontline workers from getting infected were in short supply and pledged the country’s continues support towards the fight against COVID-19.
“Since the outbreak of the disease, the Chines government had executed vigorous measures and contain the spread of the virus. So far the nation with a population of over 1.4 billion has been able to sail through and is ready to share lessons with other countries,” he said.
Mr Wang said there was only one earth and a big family hence the need to unit at these difficult times to support each other to fight the common enemy of COVID-19.
Ms Rukia Yacoub, Representative and Country Director of the World Food Programme, said her outfit manages the United Nations Humanitarian Responds Depot (UNHRD) network globally would working with representatives of the beneficiary countries to dispatch the consignment.
She said apart from the consignment from China, the UNHRD had already sent medical supplies on behalf of the World Health Organisation to over 30 African countries to help fight the pandemic.