The Ministry of Public Health announced on 9 June that it has received more than 153 million FCFA (250 thousand dollars) of equipment and supplies from the United States to strengthen the fight against Covid-19 in Cameroon.
“This donation from the American government, through the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, consists of molecular diagnostic equipment for Covid-19 and genomic sequencing, medical equipment, Covid-19 laboratory consumables, RDT and PCR reagents,” the Ministry said in a statement published on its Facebook page.
The equipment is destined for the National Public Health Laboratory which coordinates testing, quality control and quality assurance programmes for all reference and local laboratories. The NPHLwas renovated by CDC in 2016 and has received ongoing technical support in strengthening Cameroon’s laboratory system. On 8 June this year, this structure benefited from a donation of laboratory equipment for Covid-19 from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), estimated at CFAF 45 million (US$74,000).
The equipment, funded by the US Disaster Relief Plan, is expected to improve the capacity to diagnose the disease and store samples for genomic sequencing of the virus, which allows health authorities to monitor the evolution of Covid-19 and adapt the response accordingly.
“Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the United States has provided approximately 12 billion CFA francs ($19.5 million) in health assistance and specialized technical support to the Cameroon Ministry of Health’s response efforts. This grant is intended to strengthen laboratory capacity in Cameroon and is part of the United States’ ongoing commitment to support Cameroon’s health systems and improve global health,” says the US Embassy in Yaoundé.