USAID gives Zambia additional K112m in COVID-19 assistance

THE United States government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has provided an additional K112 million ($6.7 million) in COVID-19 assistance for Zambia.

According to a statement, USAID would continue to work in partnership with Ministry of Health (MoH), the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other health partners to boost access to oxygen supplies and essential medicines; support patient management and the hiring of additional doctors and nurses; and increase support for community awareness and engagement by providing accurate information on COVID-19 and how communities and individuals can protect themselves.

“American leadership is rising up to meet unprecedented global health challenges,” said USAID/Zambia mission director Sheryl Stumbras. “With decades of experience and investments in health, USAID has led the global response to health threats like Ebola, Malaria, and Tuberculosis. Today, we are responding decisively to COVID-19.”

The agency said the US was working quickly to get safe and effective vaccines to as many people as possible with the understanding that increasing global vaccination coverage was the best way out of the pandemic.

Since the global outbreak of the pandemic, the US, through multiple government agencies and initiatives including CDC, Department of Defence, Department of State, USAID, and the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), has provided more than $28 million to fight COVID-19 in Zambia.

It has also provided financing through the Global Fund to Fight Against AIDS, TB, and Malaria, COVAX, Gavi, and other multilateral partners to support the COVID-19 response in Zambia and around the world.

“USAID’s support complements the national effort to vaccinate Zambians against COVID-19, as vaccination is free of cost, available throughout the country and effective in preventing severe illness and death,” it stated.

The US encouraged all Zambians to get vaccinated.

“Find the vaccination centre closest to you by checking with the Ministry of Health and through resources provided on the Zambia National Public Health Institute websites and social media platforms or by dialing the national toll-free COVID-19 hotline at 909,” read the statement.

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