Monday 25 May, 2020

EU grant to give regional COVID-19 fight a boost

The European Union (EU) has pledged a grant of 8 million euros (US$8.6M) to combat the new coronavirus pandemic in the Caribbean.

The EU funds will be used to purchase materials needed for coronavirus testing including COVID-19 test kits, masks and other personal protective equipment, and testing reagents. The grant is expected to expand the capacity of Caribbean nations to carry out laboratory testing for COVID-19, support coronavirus quarantine and isolation procedures, as well as contact tracing.

The EU assistance will also support laboratory testing and epidemiology training, strengthen surveillance at ports of entry and support and promote the use of COVID-19 guidelines and protocols among health professionals.

The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) will implement the grant.

Overall, the funds are expected to improve the detection, surveillance, prevention, control and response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The funds will provide CARPHA and CARPHA member states with increased capacity to respond to outbreaks of the COVID-19 virus.

It’s also expected to strengthen public education and behaviour change programmes on communicable diseases, as well as bolster regional coordination and the institutional capacity of CARPHA in making the necessary preparations to respond to public health emergencies.

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