THE United States, through the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has donated US$3 million, bringing to US$6 million the money the world economic powerhouse has poured into the country to support the COVID-19 national preparedness and response plan

BY PRECIOUS CHIDA/SHARON SIBINDI

Recently they pledged US$470 000 to combat COVID-19 and to complement World Health Organisation (WHO) efforts to prepare large-scale testing for coronavirus in Zimbabwe.

The embassy said the CDC’s support aims to enhance COVID-19 response mechanisms while building long-term capacity to respond to highly communicable diseases in the future.

“The goal of the CDC and US global health response to COVID-19 is to limit human-to-human transmission and minimise the global impact of COVID-19 through partnership with countries, multilateral and non-governmental partners to mitigate vulnerabilities and gaps in preparedness.

“This US funding and technical support builds on our long-standing partnership and investments to contribute to a healthier Zimbabwe,” US embassy acting country director, Kelsey Mirkovic said.

CDC awarded the new funding through existing CDC Zimbabwe implementing partners, ICAP at Columbia University, the Biomedical Research and Training Institute and the International Training and Education Centre for Health.

They said the fund was meant to increase laboratory diagnostic capacity, enhance central and district-level surveillance, strengthen infection, prevention, and control in healthcare facilities and support vaccine preparedness.
CDC will also use approximately US$75 000, part of the US$150 000 previously announced President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (Pepfar) funds, to support COVID-19 prevention measures for people living with HIV.

Mirkovic added that: “The United States has been a long-standing development partner for the people of Zimbabwe. We invested over US$370 million in health, humanitarian and development assistance in 2019. We are working tirelessly to ensure that we maintain critical health and humanitarian assistance activities, especially during the COVID-19
pandemic.”

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