In response to the Ministry of Health request for support to ensure availability of Personal Protective Equipment at facilities especially for frontline health workers, the United Nations Population Fund in The Gambia (UNFPA), with funding from The People's Republic of China Aid, on Wednesday 28 July 2021 procured 400,000 gloves for the Ministry at the medical central store in Kotu.
Other medical items donated include: maternal and new born care supplies and medical appliances, medical supplies for healthcare workers and hygiene products, worth over D31 million (620,000USD).
Speaking at the presentation, Ma Jain Chun, Chinese ambassador to The Gambia, said the most serious pandemic in a century is still wreaking havoc in The Gambia and Africa, adding that in the face of COVID-19, The Gambia government and its people have taken strong measures to slow the spread of the virus.
He added that an initiative on partnership for Africa's Development was jointly launched by China and African countries at the UN Security Council, as it aimed at calling on the international community to support Africa in the public health sector.
Ambassador Jain Chun said China will do its utmost best to provide needed support to African countries with international communities, including the UN agencies and the WHO representatives.
"China is willing to help The Gambia improve its medical and health level through medical equipment and medicine donation, sending medical teams and human resources cooperation," Ambassador Ma Jain Chum said.
He assured that the Chinese government would provide The Gambia with 200,000 doses of Sinopharm vaccine as a grant. "Minister Samateh and I are communicating and coordinating on the preparations for receiving the vaccines," Ma Jain Chun said.
Kunle Adeniyi representative of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) expressed delight to the Chinese government for their continued support to The Gambia and for partnering with UNFPA to support the people of The Gambia as part of the South-South cooperation effort.
"The covid-19 pandemic has crippled health systems in the readiest of nations," Kunle Adeniyi said. "On a daily basis, we see its impact on the Gambia's healthcare system like we have never seen before."
Therefore, "this calls for strategic collaboration by all actors to ensure that our people, especially those often left behind are catered to put into consideration on the national response and their families, communities and the nation as a whole are provided with quality care at all times," he added.
The UNFPA rep reaffirms its commitment to support the government and people of The Gambia in preventing the spread of Covid-19 and ensuring the continued provision of essential health services especially reproductive and maternal health services.
"We will continue to stand by our development partners by investing in our mandate to ensure that every pregnancy is wanted, every child birth is safe and every young person's potential is fulfilled, he assured.