Covid-19: Develop costed plan, ECOWAS tells members

The Minister of State for Health, Dr. Adeleke Mamora, has re­vealed that each member of the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS), has been mandated to develop its strategic ap­proach in terms of costed plan for to combat the Covid-19 epidemic.

This, according to him, is part of the communique at the end of the emergency meeting of the Minis­ters of Health of the ECOWAS on regional preparedness and response to the ongoing Covid-19 (Coronavi­rus) epidemic in China, which was held in Bamako, Republic of Mali, few days ago.

He disclosed this at a media brief­ing in Abuja.

“In terms of funding, each mem­ber state will have to develop its stra­tegic costed approach for prepared­ness for this epidemic.

“We will also have a strategic fund available to assist member states if and when the need arises,” he said.

The communique ordered mem­ber states to: “develop a strategic costed regional preparedness plan based on Member States’ priorities for governments, partners, and the private sector to support; promote multi-sectoral national efforts us­ing one-health approach to maxi­mise impact; implement robust mea­sures to assure availability of critical medical supplies, including labora­tory materials, and personal protec­tive equipment in the region; work closely with the relevant authori­ties of National Governments and the Chinese Government to mon­itor and assure the health situation of our citizens resident in China.”

Speaking, the Director General, West African Health Organisation (WAHO), Professor. Stanley Okolo, disclosed that the region may need within the range of 30 to 50 million dollars to combat the Covid-19 ep­idemic.

He, therefore, called on part­ners and the private sector to pro­vide funding support to enable to region get the needed materials and equipment in preparedness for the epidemic.

While revealing the level of fi­nancial commitment of the region to combat the epidemic, he said: “On financing, one commitment that was made by member coun­tries through their ministers of health is that, there should be a re­gional costed plan that is strategic and that they will support that to the best of their capacity.

“In our estimate, we do not think that it is something that we will re­quire only about 5 million dollars. We think that it will be something of the upward of between 30 mil­lion and 50 million dollars to be sure that we can cater for some of weaker areas, that we can provide some of the critical Personal Pro­tection Equipment, laboratory sup­plies and all that. Also, in terms of coordination and communication which is critical, particularly across boarder areas.”

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