The United States (US) is committed to offering more support to Ghana to help contain the spread of COVID-19 in the country, the US Ambassador to Ghana, Mrs Stephanie Sullivan, has said.
She said since the pandemic broke out, the US had contributed more than $30 million to support Ghana's response initiative, in line with decades of partnership between the two countries in the health sector.
"The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) will continue to support Ghana's COVID-19 vaccination effort. The USAID will also support the country’s vaccine preparedness effort, including the transportation of vaccines to health facilities, planning and social and behaviourial change activities to encourage the uptake of WHO-approved COVID-19 vaccines,” she added.
The ambassador made the commitment at the Kotoka International Airport in Accra last Saturday after presenting 1,229,620 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to the government.
It was received by a Deputy Minister of Health, Alhaji Mahama Asei Seini, and the Chief of Protocol at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Mr Emmanuel Antwi.
The consignment of the single-schedule vaccine is the largest the country has received at a go and also the first Moderna vaccine to arrive in the country.
It brings to 3,239,470 the total number of vaccines the country has received so far.
Ms Sullivan said the donation formed part of the US government’s effort to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The US has already donated and delivered more than 125 million doses to more than 80 countries and economies worldwide, including 26 million doses in sub-Saharan Africa.
“Our support aims to address the immediate and medium-term effects of the pandemic on the health, agricultural and educational sectors, as well as support the hard-hit private sector,” she explained.
She expressed her government’s commitment to bringing the same urgency demonstrated in the US to contain the spread of the virus to the international vaccination effort to help build a safer and more secure world against the threat of infectious diseases.
“As we continue to fight the COVID-19 pandemic at home and work to end the pandemic worldwide, President Biden has promised that the US will be an arsenal of vaccines to the world,” the ambassador said.
The Country Representative of UNICEF Ghana, Ms Ann Claire Dufey, said the additional doses would go a long way to boost the national vaccination campaign exercise.
“UNICEF, as an implementing partner of the COVAX facility, is pleased to support the arrival of the large shipment of more than 1.2 million doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, generously donated by the US government.
“We commend Ghana for its unwavering effort to protect the population and increase vaccine confidence. It is truly encouraging to see that more people are protecting themselves and their communities by getting vaccinated,” she added.
Alhaji Seini expressed gratitude to the government and the people of the US for the donation, which he described as being critical to the national effort to reach herd immunity.
“We recognise the donation of the vaccine as a best practice of cooperation with the US government and we promise to use it in our fight against the COVID-19,” he said.