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South Korea donates COVID-19 testing equipment, PPE to MoH

BY: Doreen Andoh
• Mr Mooheon Kong (in black suit), KOICA Country Director and Mr Kwabena Boadu Oku-Afari, Chief Director of the Ministry of Health, displaying the documents covering the items donated.

The Republic of South Korea has donated COVID-19 laboratory testing equipment and personal protective equipment (PPE), worth $200,000, to the country.

The gesture forms part of that country’s resolve to help Ghana boost its capacity to fight the global pandemic, particularly in the area of testing and reducing any backlogs.

The Ministry of Health (MoH) took delivery of the items last Friday.

The Deputy Head of Mission of the Republic of South Korea, Mr Taesoo Kim, said the gesture was another COVID-19 intervention the South Korean government was making to Ghana.

The donated items included four automated Ribonucleic acid (RNA) extractors, four Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing machines, 5,000 face shields, 5,000 goggles, 8,500 N95 face masks and 8,500 surgical gowns.

Cooperation

Mr Kim said the close bond of friendship between South Korea and Ghana had informed the different kinds of support the latter had offered Ghana over the years.

He said South Korea was represented in Ghana by the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and in the area of health by the Korea Foundation for International Healthcare (KOFIH).

“There is an African Ubuntu philosophy which says: ‘I am because we are.’ This philosophy embraces the idea that humanity cannot exist in isolation. It is truly relevant in this era of globalisation when we are all connected under one global village.

“We can no longer see development as an isolated effort because whatever happens in one place will affect other places. Therefore, partnerships and collaboration in development cooperation are particularly important,” he said.

In the spirit of that African Ubuntu philosophy, Mr Kim gave an assurance that Ghana and South Korea were committed to strengthening the ties of cooperation in the area of health and creating a platform for dynamic partnerships between the two countries.

“I sincerely wish that the donated laboratory equipment and PPE could significantly help health workers in their management of cases of the disease. I would also like to express my appreciation to the government of Ghana for its outstanding leadership in managing the disease,” he said.

He said even though Ghana was experiencing an increase in cases, he was optimistic of the government’s ability to lead the country to bring the disease under control and even stop it from spreading eventually.

Shared duty

The KOICA Country Director, Mr Mooheon Kong, said he believed that the fight against the COVID-19 was a shared responsibility.

That being the case, he said, the government of the Republic of South Korea would continuously renew its long-lasting commitment to the partnership existing between it and Ghana.

“As part of our support and shared interest, I am happy to present our in-kind donation. We expect the PPE to be distributed to health workers in various health facilities across the country, while the testing machines are to be given to the four public health reference laboratories in the country.

“I do hope that the PCR machines and automated RNA extractors will further strengthen Ghana’s capacity for COVID-19 testing,” he said.

He appealed to the public to adhere strictly to the COVID-19 safety protocols at all times to help break the transmission of the disease and accelerate the fight against the pandemic.

Gratitude

The Chief Director of the MoH, Mr Kwabena Boadu Oku-Afari, who received the items on behalf of the Minister-designate for Health, Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, expressed the country’s gratitude to the government and the people of South Korea for the gesture and their continued technical, financial and material support to Ghana’s health sector in particular.

He said the donation had come at a good time and the gesture very much appreciated, adding that it had come to boost the nation’s resolve to enhance testing and safeguard the health of the population and frontline health workers.