A large batch of critical COVID-19 health supplies donated by Germany, the European Union and UNDP in the framework of the RPPP programme (Regional Programme Support to Pandemic Prevention in the ECOWAS Region) arrived in Freetown from Nigeria on Tuesday 6 April 2021.
Since the launch of the RPPP programme in 2016, it has been implemented by GIZ and has contributed to the fight against COVID-19 and national preparedness against Ebola in West Africa.
The consignment, which consists of aprons, gloves, boots, masks, test kits, consumables and other medical equipment such as oxygen concentrators, is the second one flown in by ECOWAS through the West African Health Organisation (WAHO) as part of the organisation’s mandate to support ECOWAS States in their national health response. In total, medical supplies worth over $18 million are being distributed to 15 West Africa countries.
The EU joined deputy Minister of Health Dr. Anthony Sandy at the airport for the handover ceremony, together with German Ambassador Horst Gruner, WAHO focal point Mohamed Kutubu and WHO representative Mr Charles Terry.
Deputy Minister Sandy stated that the equipment was highly needed and underlined the importance of team work and unity to overcome the pandemic.
Ambassador Gruner said that the recent ebola outbreak in Guinea once more had shown that infectious diseases are one of the greatest challenges of our time and that it was important to further strengthen prevention and control systems in the region.
EU Deputy Head of Delegation Jamila El Assaidi reminded that since the onset of the pandemic, Team Europe has mobilised over €38.5 billion towards a global COVID-19 response, stressing that cooperating across borders was essential to beat the virus and contain its consequences.