in ,

World Bank approves $8.5 to support S/Leone’ vaccines deployment

COVID-19 vaccine deployment in Sierra Leone has gotten a boost. This is even as the World Bank approved an $8.5 million grant in additional financing to support affordable and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines in Sierra Leone.
The additional resources will also support the costs of expanding activities of the parent project—Sierra Leone COVID-19 Emergency Preparedness and Response Project—under the Coronavirus disease Strategic Preparedness and Response Program.
It will further complement the resources from the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) Advanced Market Commitment (AMC) Facility to jointly vaccinate close to a quarter of the country’s population by the end of 2021.
The funds, according to a statement,  will provide upfront financing to help purchase and deploy coronavirus vaccines, and to strengthen relevant health systems necessary for a successful deployment and to prepare for future pandemic outbreaks.
Speaking, the World Bank Country Manager for Sierra Leone, Gayle Martin, explained that: “Given the importance of limiting the spread of COVID-19 to improve health outcomes and support economic recovery, providing access to vaccines will be crucial to accelerate economic and social recovery for Sierra Leone.
“This additional financing comes at a critical time and will respond to critical needs for financing the COVID-19 vaccine deployment to scale up and build on ongoing efforts for health systems strengthening in the country.”
Commenting on the approved funds, the Minister of Health and Sanitation for Sierra Leone, Austin Demby, said:  “These additional funds present an opportunity for us as a Government to strengthen our response to the pandemic, and to broaden the implementation of the Coronavirus vaccine rollout.
“Now the work of translating available funds into vaccinations and COVID-19 prevention and care activities go into high gear.
“As a Ministry, we continue to look forward to our strong collaboration with the World Bank as we collectively work to improve health outcomes for the people of Sierra Leone.”
The statement explained that the Sierra Leone COVID-19 Emergency Preparedness and Response Project was approved by the World Bank on April 2, 2020, filling critical financing gaps identified due to the new emergency preparedness and response needs created by the global pandemic. The first $7.5 million International Development Association (IDA) grant was to help strengthen Sierra Leone’s response to the outbreak and further reinforce national systems for public health preparedness.
The project has significantly contributed to reducing the case fatality rate from 6% in May 2020 to 2.1% in February 2021 by strengthening health systems. It procured an assortment of essential local drugs needed to treat COVID-19 patients, and continues to support the strengthening of the country’s laboratory systems with the provision of vital laboratory supplies to all designated laboratories across the country. Furthermore, it has helped improve electronic data reporting with over 90% of routine data collected at district level on District Health Information Software (DHIS2).
The project also procured quantities of essential medicines, equipment, PPEs, testing kits, and consumables. Sierra Leone now has the capacity to perform rapid COVID-19 testing, with results being declared within 72 hours of taking samples. A functional grievance redress system was established with a significant number of reported cases resolved.

Written by ExpressDay

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

COVID-19: We ‘re in dangerous period of pandemic-WHO

Nigeria Army appoints new Principal Staff Officers, Field Commanders