Monrovia — The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) says to address the COVID-19 emergency at hand, it has 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 for Member States.
According to a dispatch from ECOWAS, the West African Health Organization (WAHO) has already purchased and dispatched to the 15 Member States: 30,500 diagnostic test kits; 10,000 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) (Coveralls, Aprons, gowns, gloves, goggles, boots); 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); 268,1000 masks for medical personnel (face masks, surgical masks, full face masks); 120 ventilators; Several thousand litres of alcohol gel and disinfectants. 2 ECOWAS communique n° 02 of 6 April 2020 on the fight against the coronavirus disease
ECOWAS says it is closely monitoring the evolution of the Coronavirus pandemic in the world and particularly in West Africa which as of 5 April 2020, had affected 15 Member States with 1, 739 confirmed cases of contamination, 55 deaths and 328 persons who have fully recovered.
In its statement, ECOWAS stated it should be noted that approximately 95% of deaths are patients with comorbid conditions and in light of the spread of the pandemic, ECOWAS Commission reaffirms its solidarity with Member States and welcomes all the measures already taken to contain the spread of the pandemic and care for the sick.
"We remain committed to supporting Member States in the fight against this pandemic.
"In this regard, the West African Health Organization (WAHO), its specialized health Institution responsible for coordinating the response at the regional level, has drawn up a Regional Strategic Plan with all Member States."
The statement stated that WAHO is also working, in close collaboration with the specialized services in Member States, to deploy personnel and epidemiological surveillance and data collection tools, strengthen the capacity of reference laboratories and train technical personnel.
"ECOWAS and its Institution, WAHO, continue both internal and external resource mobilization, with a view to increasing the availability of medical materials and equipment necessary to prevent, monitor and combat this pandemic. This will expand its scope of support to supplement Member States' own efforts."
In addition, ECOWAS says it is working to complement its intervention as part of a Short and Medium Term State Assistance Plan (humanitarian assistance and support for economic recovery). "This is the place to thank all our partners with whom we work, for their financial and technical support to the Community in these 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. Together, we will win the fight against COVID-19."