With the goal of raising $100 million to supply personal protective equipment (PPE) to community health workers in twenty-four African countries, Direct Relief has announced the launch of a COVID-19 Action Fund for Africa.
Seeded by a $10 million commitment from Direct Relief, and with additional support from Crown Family Philanthropies and in-kind contributions from more than thirty partner organizations, the fund plans to provide surgical masks, gloves, face shields, isolation gowns, and other PPE over the next year to up to a million community health workers who collectively serve more than four hundred million people across the continent. To that end, the fund will pool resources to secure competitive pricing for essential supplies and will work with in-country partners and ministries of health to deploy them to the last mile. In partnership with the fund, the World Food Programme will provide $1 million in donated freight and logistics for the effort.
Initially, the fund, which is jointly organized by Direct Relief and the Community Health Acceleration Partnership, Community Health Impact Coalition, Pandemic Action Network, and twenty-four ministries of health, will airlift five hundred thousand pieces of PPE to twelve countries across sub-Saharan Africa, including Lesotho and Zimbabwe. The other targeted countries are Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Niger, Nigeria, Madagascar, Mali, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Tanzania, Togo, and Zambia. As of August 10, there were over a million confirmed cases of COVID-19 on the African continent and more than twenty thousand deaths.
“This is a valiant and essential effort to mobilize PPE to protect our frontline heroes: community health workers,” said Agnes Binagwaho, vice chancellor at the University of Global Health Equity and former health minister of Rwanda. “By preventing the spread of disease across their communities while ensuring the continuum of primary care, community health workers play a central role in all epidemics, especially COVID-19. As such, it is essential that we, as a global community, ensure they are respected, supported, and protected.”
Source: Philanthropy News Digest