Ecowas has offered to support the 15 member states in the fight against Covid-19.
The sub-regional body has made available a financial package, pooled from its own resources, for the purchase of medical supplies and equipment to aid in the fight against the pandemic.
The sub-region has so far confirmed a little over 1,700 cases with 55 deaths and 328 fully recovered.
“It should be noted that approximately 95 per cent of deaths are patients with comorbid conditions,” Ecowas said in a communique on Monday, April 6.
It said it has tasked its specialized health institution responsible for coordinating the response at the sub-regional level, the West African Health Organisation (WAHO), to draw a Regional Strategic Plan with all 15 member states.
So far, WAHO has procured 30,500 diagnostic test kits, 10,000 personal protective equipment (PPEs) and 740,000 prescription tablets made up of Chloroquine and Azithromycin.
Orders have also been placed for the acquisition of 240,000 more diagnostic kits, 240,000 extraction kits, and 285,100 more PPEs.
Over 268,000 medical masks, 250,000 viral sample transport equipment and 150 ventilators have also been ordered for onward distribution to member states.
Thousands of litres of alcohol gel and disinfectants are also in line to be procured.
“WAHO is also working, in close collaboration with the specialised services in Member States, to deploy personnel and epidemiological surveillance and data collection tools, strengthen the capacity of reference laboratories and train technical personnel,” the communique issued by Ecowas Commission President Jean-Claude Kassi Brou said.
It said the body will continue both internal and external resource mobilization “with a view to increasing the availability of medical materials and equipment necessary to prevent, monitor and combat this pandemic”.
“This will expand its scope of support to supplement member states’ own efforts.”
It thanked partners as well as member states “for their financial and technical support to the Community in these difficult times”.
“The ECOWAS Commission is taking this opportunity to urge people to continue to implement the measures recommended by the Health Authorities, and to comply with the prescribed hygiene guidelines.”
By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh|3news.com|Ghana