Germany Donates COVID-19 Test Kits to Africa CDC

Addis Ababa: The Government of Germany has donated SARS-CoV-2 extraction and test kits to the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) that is capable of conducting 1.3 million tests.

According to a statement from the AU, the first batch of the test kits was handed over on Wednesday to the Africa CDC by Chargé d’Affaires of the German Embassy, Heiko Nitzschke, at Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa.

The donation is part of a 10 million Euros worth of non-monetary support by the German Government for COVID-19 pandemic response by the African Union, it was indicated.

It aims to support implementation of the Africa Joint Continental Strategy for COVID-19, so as to prevent severe illness and death from COVID-19 infection in the continent as well as minimize social disruption and the economic consequences of the pandemic.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, AU Member States have been providing testing services to individuals suspected to be infected with the disease, AU’s statement said.

However, it added that there is an urgent need to rapidly scale-up testing at the community level.

The donated kits contribute to the implementation of the Partnership to Accelerate COVID-19 Testing (PACT) by providing essential diagnostics needed to scale-up testing service, according to the African CDC.

“Testing is the cornerstone of response to any pandemic, and providing test kits is one way African Union Member States can quickly scale-up testing. As a continental body we are working with several partners to unlock the testing space and ensure that countries have predictable access to test kits. The donation by Germany is very critical in achieving the goals of PACT”, Deputy Director of Africa CDC, Dr. Ahmed Ogwell Ouma said.

Amira Elfadil Mohammed, Commissioner for Social Affairs at the AU, on her part  stressed the need for Member States to do more testing, to trace, and to identify and isolate infected persons in order to control the virus and limit transmission.

But they cannot do this if they don’t have the capacity to test, she said adding that “This in-kind support will go a long way to boost testing capacity in Africa.”

Chargé d’Affaires, Nitzschke on his part said that the donation is a concrete example of Germany’s close partnership with the African Union and its solidarity with the African continent.

 

 

Source: Ethiopia News agency