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ECOWAS to deploy health personnel, tools

The President of the ECOWAS Commission, Jean-Claude KassiBrou in a communiqué says the West African Health Organization or WAHO, is collaborating with specialized services in Member States, to deploy personnel and epidemiological surveillance, data collection tools, strengthen the capacity of reference laboratories and train technical personnel.

He says ECOWAS and WAHO continue both internal and external resource mobilization, with a view to increasing the availability of medical materials and equipment necessary to prevent, monitor and combat this pandemic.

WAHO, thru the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, has drawn up a Regional Strategic Plan with all Member States to fight the Coronavirus.

The ECOWAS Commission President Jean-Claude KassiBrou discloses that to address the Coronavirus emergency, ECOWAS has immediately made available financial support from its own resources, in addition to assistance from international partners, for the purchase of medical supplies and equipment essential for the fight against the pandemic.

A dispatch from Nigeria says WAHO has already purchased and dispatched to all 15 Member States: 30, 500 diagnostic test kits; 10, 000 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including aprons, gowns, gloves, goggles, boots; and 740, 000 prescription tablets (Chloroquine and Azithromycin), respectively.

It says orders have been placed to acquire for Member States, 240,000 diagnostic kits; 240,000 extraction kits; 250,000 viral sample transport equipment; 285,100 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE); 268,1000 masks for medical personnel, including face masks, surgical masks, full face masks; 120 ventilators; and several thousand litres of alcohol gel and disinfectants.

Besides, the communique issued Tuesday, April 06, says ECOWAS is working to complement its intervention as part of a Short and Medium Term State Assistance Plan (humanitarian assistance and support for economic recovery).

“This is the place to thank all our partners with whom we work, for their financial and technical support to the Community in these difficult times”, says Mr. KassiBrou.
He urges people to continue to implement the measures recommended by the Health Authorities, and to comply with the prescribed hygiene guidelines.

He assures that ECOWAS continues to closely monitor the evolution of the Coronavirus pandemic in the world and particularly in West Africa, disclosing that as of 5 April 2020, all 15 Member States are affected by the pandemic with 1 739 confirmed cases of contamination, 55 deaths and 328 persons who have fully recovered.

“It should be noted that approximately 95% of deaths are patients with comorbid conditions.”
The communiqué noted that in light of the spread of the pandemic, the ECOWAS Commission reaffirms its solidarity with Member States and welcomes all the measures already taken to contain the spread of the pandemic and care for the sick.

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