The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has announced that it is immediately committing $ 100 million to the global response to the 2019 coronavirus epidemic (2019-nCov). Of this amount, $ 20 million has been allocated to strengthen protection populations at risk in Africa. This brings the foundation’s total commitment to Africa to the 2019-nCov epidemic to $ 25 million.
These funds are made available to strengthen the capacity of African Union member states to improve surveillance, rapid detection and prompt containment of all cases, and to isolate and handle cases safely. All of this will be supported by strengthening the capacities of national public health institutes, emergency operations centers and regional networks on the continent. These critical efforts will be supported through the African Field Epidemiology Network (AFENET) in close collaboration with the African Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC Africa) and the WHO Regional Office for the African Region.
These new resources will complement the work of the Africa Task Force for the New Coronavirus 2019 (AFCOR) and will contribute to the African CDC strategy for rapid detection and rapid containment.
The funds committed by the foundation will increase what African governments are already doing to prepare for and respond to 2019-nCov. The continent will benefit enormously from this support.