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Ghana benefits from €1.2bn support from France to aid Africa’s fight against Covid-19

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France, through the French Development Agency (AFD) has launched a “COVID 19 – Joint Health” initiative, which is a response to the global health crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly in developing countries.

Worth €1.2 billion, the initiative is entering its active phase in West Africa.

In Ghana, a project implemented by the French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development IRD, in partnership with the West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious and Non-Communicable Diseases, WACCBIP, and the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, NMIMR, of the University of Ghana, is supporting the strengthening of the national strategy to respond to the epidemic.

AFD says it is investing money into Coronavirus research because “since Noguchi and WACCBIP institutions are buds for the Ghanaian response plan for Covid19, by way of Laboratory and Epidemiology, the French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development, IRD has been partnering with both of them for a while, that is why it is important for AFD to support them to bring a lasting solution to the pandemic in Ghana. This funding is therefore an opportunity to deepen this relevant partnership on key aspects of the Ghanaian Covid-19 response plan, especially in the area of testing”.

Country Director of Agence française de développement, AFD, Jildaz Evin in an interview with the GBC said: “the assistance to Ghana is mainly to support testing and collect data to provide domestic solutions to the pandemic.”

For the next two years, the IRD will support the research-action on the pandemic and the definition of the Ghanaian response. The project is fully funded by AFD for more than €185,000.

The implementation include training, supply of equipment and consumables, to enable the Health Researchers to carry out direct diagnosis and characterization of the SARS-COV 2 virus on a large scale and also conduct sero-epidemiological surveys in the population. Furthermore, epidemiological field surveys and developing modeling approaches will be carried out.

AFD said the activities will be carried out in partnership with the managers of the Covid-19 National Response Program. Also, five other countries including Benin, Guinea and Senegal are expected to benefit from the IRD support for a total grant of €1.2 million mobilised by AFD. Professor Eric Delaporte from IRD will Co-ordinate the entire project.

Director General of AFD, Mr. Rémy Rioux, pointed: “being involved in the unprecedented global solidarity drive to face the COVID19 health crisis in Africa, AFD is fully committed to a targeted response to the health challenges posed by this pandemic.”

Story filed by Rebecca Ekpe.

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