By Adolphus Lalong
The West African States (ECOWAS) has ordered over one million kits for member states to help fight the coronavirus pandemic.
The new order,according to the sub-regional body, is to supplement its ongoing distribution of other kits and medicines including Chloroquine and Azithromycin.
A statement issued by ECOWAS on Tuesday, re-affirmed its solidarity with member-states as well as its support.
The sub regional body said that it had already given financial support to member-states, distributed kits and drugs and additional kits as well as ventilators for distribution.
“To address the emergency at hand, 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.
WAHO has already purchased and dispatched to the 15 Member States: 30,500 diagnostic test kits; 10,000 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and 740,000 prescription tablets (Chloroquine and Azithromycin).
“Orders have been placed to acquire for Member States, the following items:
“240,000 diagnostic kits; 240,000 extraction kits; 250,000 viral sample transport equipment; 285,100 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE); 268,100 masks for medical personnel, 120 ventilators and several thousand litres of alcohol gel and disinfectants.
“WAHO is also working, in close collaboration with the specialised services in Member States, to deploy personnel and epidemiological surveillance and data collection tools, strengthen the capacity of reference laboratories and train technical personnel,” the statement said.
According to ECOWAS, it is working with its health organisation West African Health Organisation (WAHO)to continue both internal and external resource mobilisation, with a view to increasing the availability of medical materials and equipment.
It said that the effort of ECOWAS is to complement its intervention as part of a Short and Medium Term State Assistance Plan (humanitarian assistance and support for economic recovery).
The body thanked all their partners for their financial and technical supports to the Community, especially during the difficult times.
“The ECOWAS Commission is taking this opportunity to urge people to continue to implement the measures recommended by the Health Authorities, and to comply with the prescribed hygiene guidelines.