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EU provides €100m for COVID-19 training in 12 African countries

A dozen African countries have been thrown a lifeline after the European Union (EU), through the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), availed a €100m (around R1.79bn) grant to help them train health workers, shore up logistics, and build confidence in COVID-19 vaccine uptake.

The selected countries are Zimbabwe, South Sudan, Uganda, Lesotho, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Mali, and Nigeria.

News24 writes that the 18-month programme will “help ensure that as vaccines arrive, countries are supported and vaccines reach the whole population, including the most vulnerable”.

“Support will be provided through, inter alia, training for health workers, shoring up logistics, and building confidence in vaccine take-up,” the EU said in a statement issued this past weekend.

According to the Reuters COVID-19 daily tracker, Africa is currently reporting a million new infections about every 96 days and more than 9m cases have been reported since the pandemic began.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in its assessment of the negative impact of COVID-19 in Africa said the pandemic has greatly disturbed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) targets of 2030. The new funding will enhance coordination and partnership with governments, AU Centre for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, and partners in planning and monitoring of COVID-19 vaccine roll-out. It will also cover support for vaccine delivery to priority groups through increased health force capacity.

Most African countries have problems in cold chain systems and vaccine management, as well as low vaccine acceptance that has seen only 8% of the population vaccinated.

 

News4 article – European Union provides €100 million for Covid-19 fight in 12 African countries (Open access)

 

See more from MedicalBrief archives:

 

Africa now has the shots but is struggling to administer them

 

New variants: Africa needs to strengthen its COVID response

 

Public health in Africa: Neglect, dependency and now a ‘moral tragedy’

 

Scaling up COVID-19 vaccination in Africa: lessons from the HIV pandemic

 

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