Addis Abab — The Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic continues to rage throughout the world with over 300, 000 people confirmed infected and >12, 000 deaths. The consequences of COVID -1 9 in Africa will be catastrophic due to continent's healthcare systems. Moreover, the existing endemic diseases such as human immunodeficiency virus, tuberculosis, and malaria; re-merging and emerging infectious pathogens such as Ebola virus disease, Lassa haemorrhagic fever and increasing incidence of non communicable diseases make it a huge threat.
The Prime Minister of Ethiopia, H.E Abiy Ahmed, with Jack Ma, Founder of the Jack Ma Foundation, and the Alibaba Foundation have jointly launched a relief initiative to support African countries with diagnostics, and infection prevention control commodities to help fight the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic across the continent.
The Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation's donation will include 1.1 million testing kits, 6 million masks and 60,000 protective suits to be distributed throughout Africa - accounting for 20,000 test kit s, 100,000 medical masks and 1,000 protective suit s and face shields to each of the 54 African countries.
This Initiative is Prime Minister Abiy's and Jack Ma's full recognition and support of the need to have a continental strategy for Coronavirus for Africa that is underpinned by coordination, cooperation, collaboration, and communication. Following the arrival of the supplies in Ethiopia today, the Ministry of Health will coordinate the logistics and work with ET Airlines, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and several partners supporting the initiative for the distribution to the different countries which include the World Food Programme, and the Africa Centres for Disease Cont rol and Prevention.
The Office of Prime Minster of Ethiopia believes that Africa and the world needs to act collectively in solidarity to tackle the #COVID-19 pandemic, which poses a severe global social, economic and security threat. As such he calls on all countries, private and philanthropic organizations and partners to reunite for such solidarity. In this regard, Government of Ethiopia sincerely appreciates the Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation for this generous support and partnership to reverse COVID-19 from Africa.