The Republic of Korea, with support from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), on Tuesday donated 200,000 facemasks to the Ghana Health Service (GHS) towards the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The facemasks, said to be capable of filtering out SARS-CoV-2 particles responsible for the COVID-19, are for frontline health workers across the country.
Mr Jung-Taek Lim, the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea, who presented the items, said his country was providing the support to six African countries; Ghana, Benin, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Gambia and Guinea Bissau.
He said he was impressed by the tireless efforts of the Government, especially through the GHS, to prevent the spread of the pandemic and that the number of recoveries, discharges and deaths showed the situation was being managed well compared to other countries.
He said living in “these abnormal times calls for solidarity and cooperation of the international community. Under this spirit, the Korean Government extends its hands to Ghana to deal with the pandemic.”
Mr Lim recounted that on December 22, last year, the Korean Government, in partnership with the World Health Organisation, handed over COVID-19 diagnostic kits worth $300,000 to Ghana being yet another intervention from Korea.
Madam Anne-Claire Dufay, the Representative of UNICEF to Ghana, commended the Government, especially the Ministry of Health and the GHS, for the hard work and relentless efforts in containing the COVID-19 pandemic.
She said UNICEF, in partnership with the Korean Government, had facilitated the receipt of 111 pallets of masks to the regional supply hub and would help deliver the items to five other beneficiary countries in Africa.
Madam Dufay said Ghana was leading by example in its impressive progress in the vaccination of the populace with a focus on priority groups – health workers, people above 60 years, and persons with underlying medical conditions.
She said if more people got vaccinated, there would be greater opportunities for individuals to return to normal lives.
Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, the Director General of the GHS, who received the items, expressed gratitude for the support and that it would go a long way to help fight the pandemic.
The fight of the pandemic was not a one country thing but the whole world affair to eliminating the virus, he said.
Dr Kuma-Aboagye said he was glad that the donation was not only for Ghana but to other African countries as Ghana had experienced few spikes in new cases from the borders due to increases in cases in neighboring countries.
He said Ghana’s active COVID-19 cases had declined from 8,000 four weeks ago to 4,000 while the country’s daily new cases dropped from 800 to 400 a day since last four weeks, adding: “The number of people on admission has also dropped from 270 to 150.”
He said a total of 3,000 people had been vaccinated so far and prayed that people continued to adhere to the safety protocols to end the spread of the virus.