The German Government is supporting COVID-19 rapid response measures in Ghana with up to €13.4 million, the German Embassy announced on Thursday.
A statement issued by the Embassy and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra said the German Government was providing funding for the set-up of a Covid-19 Unit at the Effia Nkwanta Regional Hospital in Takoradi.
The measure was helping to build upon previous support by the German Government in the wake of the Ebola crisis, where an eight-bed facility was built and furnished with medical equipment as a Severe Infectious Disease Unit.
Presently, with the support of the Western Regional Coordinating Council and Regional Health Directorate, the unit is being refurbished to increase the ward capacity to an additional 25 beds including an intensive care unit.
Furthermore, ventilators would be procured as well as training of personnel on the installation and use of equipment.
“In the long run the unit will serve as a resource centre for medical training of health officials in Ghana and within the ECOWAS sub-region”, the statement indicated.
The measure is being implemented by the German Development Agency, GIZ, and funded with a €300,000 funding by the German Government through its German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
Meanwhile, in the spirit of Ghana’s collective effort to curb the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research (KCCR) and the GIZ Governance Programme, funded by the German Government, have joined hands to increase Ghana’s capacity to test for COVID-19 infections even in remote areas with limited access to laboratory capacities.
Under the project, the GRA is temporarily repurposing its two mobile laboratory vans, which are usually deployed by the Customs Division, to test and classify incoming goods at Ghana’s borders.
The vans were procured through the GIZ Governance Programme and funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in 2017.
The KCCR would provide its experts and equipment while GIZ is procuring additional equipment and materials with an amount of up to 100, 000 Euros.
The vans would be sent to remote and potential hotspots to conduct COVID-19 tests on-site, minimising the time span between collecting samples and receiving results, thus reducing the risk of further infections.
In a related development, the German Government has also expressed its readiness to provide support to the Noguchi Memorial Institute of Medical Research to increase its testing capacity through the provision of COVID-19 test kits and reagents.
The measure is being implemented by GIZ with a €150,000 fund by the German Government through the BMZ.
Germany has also provided various support to the Ghana Police Service in the form of personal protective equipment through the GIZ implemented Police Programme and other MMDAs.