Dhaka – The United States has mobilized 2.5 million US dollars to support Bangladesh’s efforts to response to the novel coronavirus pandemic, according to a press statement of the US embassy in Dhaka.
The release said on Thursday that this USAID funding will support Bangladesh to strengthen infection prevention and control measures in health facilities, improve specimen transport and referral system and increase risk awareness communication and outreach.
The USAID is especially providing 700,000 dollars to the World Health Organisation to work with Bangladesh for rapid diagnosis, case management, infection prevention control, and awareness-raising over the pathogen.
This builds upon ongoing USAID and other US government investments in the health sector.
Bangladesh has detected three cases of its first coronavirus infection as the outbreak of the virus expands geographically in many countries killing more than 4,000 people and infecting more than 100,000 others.
The US government, through USAID and other agencies, will continue to play a vital role in supporting the global response, said the US Embassy in Bangladesh.
The USAID is also providing 650,000 dollars for its Infectious Disease Detection and Surveillance (IDDS) programme implemented by nonprofit FHI360, and an additional $650,000 to Medicines, Technologies, and Pharmaceutical Services (MTaPS) Program implemented by nonprofit Management Sciences for Health (MSH).
These programmes will focus on infection prevention and control and sample transport and referral.
It is also providing $50,000 to Johns Hopkins University to develop and disseminate materials to raise wider awareness about COVID-19 in Bangladesh, particularly information critical for front line health care workers.
On March 11, US Ambassador Earl Miller met Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research Director Dr Meerjady Sabrina Flora to notify her of this commitment and advise her of the US plan of action for this funding.
They discussed ways to coordinate the two governments’ actions in countering COVID-19 in Bangladesh, and how future tranches of funding could be best allocated.
The US government has recently announced a commitment of $37 million in financing from the Emergency Reserve Fund for Contagious Infectious Diseases at the US Agency for International Development (USAID) for 25 countries either affected by novel coronavirus COVID-19 or at high risk of its spread. This is among the first of the US government funds committed from a recent pledge of up to $100 million to be used worldwide,