United States supports COVID-19 vaccine deployment in Ghana

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Pooling samples boosts Ghana’s COVID-19 testing
Pooling samples boosts Ghana’s COVID-19 testing

The United States has congratulated Ghana on the successful start of the COVID-19 vaccine campaign on March 1.

A statement issued by the US Embassy in Accra, copied to the Ghana News Agency, said the campaign was made possible through the COVAX Advance Market Commitment, a global initiative to support equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.

It recalled that the US recently announced a commitment to provide an initial $2 billion—out of a total planned $4 billion— to the COVAX Advance Market Commitment, making the US the single largest contributor to the international response to COVID-19.

“Ghana is the first country in the world to have received COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX facility,” it said.

The statement said through the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the US contribution would support the purchase and delivery of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines for the world’s most vulnerable and at-risk populations in 92 low and middle income countries.

“This support is critical to controlling the pandemic, slowing the emergence of new variants, and helping to restart the global economy,” it said.

It said in view of the launch and the example set by the first and second couples of Ghana and other eminent persons by receiving the first vaccinations,

Madam Stephanie Sullivan, the US Ambassador to Ghana, reiterated the US partnership with Ghana and congratulates the government of Ghana for its tireless commitment to reduce transmission and halt the spread of the virus, paving the way to build a stronger and more resilient Ghana.
The Ambassador encouraged everyone to “Protect Yourself, Protect Your Family, Get Vaccinated Against Coronavirus,” the theme of the vaccination campaign.

The statement said the US Government would provide additional funding to the COVAX facility through 2022 and would work with other donors to make further pledges and commitments to meet the facility’s critical needs.

It said the US Government was committed to working with partners and governments to support global COVID-19 vaccination efforts, with a focus on vaccinating vulnerable populations.

The statement said for 60 years, the US Government, through USAID, had worked with Ghana’s health sector to build capacity and strengthen services that had contributed to improving the health of Ghanaians.

It said to support Ghana’s COVID-19 response, to date, USAID had provided $19 million to address the immediate and medium-term effects of COVID-19 on the health, agriculture, and education sectors, and to support the hard-hit private sector.

It said the USAID supported the Ministry of Health to train health workers in COVID-19 critical care; disseminate social and behaviour change messages to increase knowledge and awareness around COVID-19, including increasing the number of people who receive the COVID-19 vaccine and deliver life-saving supplies and commodities across the country.

The statement said in addition, to USAID’s efforts, the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention had also provided critical technical assistance to strengthen contact tracing, surveillance, and laboratory activities.

It said the US Department of Defense had coordinated donations of personal protective equipment and medical supplies to aid frontline health care workers as well as testing supplies to increase Ghana’s testing capacity.

It said the US Government’s Power Africa initiative recently supported the electrification of 65 health facilities in the Ashanti region with solar power, enabling the facilities to operate at night, diversify their services, and ensure a vaccine cold chain that extends into rural areas.

It said additionally, the US facilitated the Ghana Armed Forces redeployment of one of the two US-donated state-of-the-art peacekeeping field hospitals into a COVID-19 treatment facility.
USAID is the lead US Government agency that works to end extreme global poverty and enable resilient, democratic societies to realize their potential.

USAID’s activities and strategic partnerships support Ghana’s journey to self-reliance and advances an integrated approach to development.
It promotes accountability, sustainable systems, and inclusive development.

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