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Stanbic Bank Ghana donates additional COVID-19 test kits to Ghana Health Service

BY: Graphic.com.gh

Stanbic Bank Ghana in partnership with the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), has donated 3,008 units of COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test kits and 3,072 units of Nucleic acid (RNA) extraction kits to the Ghana Health Service (GHS).

The donation on Friday, September 18, 2020, represents the second round of test kits and extraction kits donated by the bank to the GHS to enhance its COVID-19 testing and early case detection capacity.

The latest donation brings Stanbic Bank Ghana’s support to the national COVID-19 response through the GHS to a combined total of 8,640 PCR test kits and 8,512 RNA extraction kits, all of which were procured and delivered in partnership with UNOPS.

A statement issued by the partners said as part of its strategy to keep its personnel, clients and the communities it serves safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic, a part of the latest donated test kits will be allocated to testing of Stanbic Bank Ghana’s staff and their families while the other part will be used by the GHS in the context of its response to the COVID-19 testing strategy.

“By this gesture to its staff, Stanbic Bank Ghana reinforces the priority it places on the health of its personnel and their families, while setting the example for other private sector entities to consider investing in a response mechanism for their own.”

On June 9, UNOPS delivered 5,568 units of PCR test kits, 5,504 units of RNA extraction kits, and an Autopure 32A-Nucleic Acid Purification System to the GHS in the first phase of this procurement project. The overall objective of this project has been to support the government to address the secondary impact of the COVID-19 outbreak in Ghana. By this, the project contributed to early case detection of COVID-19 and high tests per million population in Ghana.

UNOPS continues to provide procurement of medical supplies and equipment to support Ghana to strengthen essential capacity for COVID-19 to cope with the pandemic.

The statement cites Ghana to have the fourth highest COVID-19 infections rate in Africa after South Africa, Egypt and Nigeria.

“The number of COVID-19 positive cases exceeded 45,500 on 17 September, 2020. To combat the spread of the virus, the Government of Ghana, the Ministry of Health and the GHS have been engaging development partners and the private sector for support”, it explained.

Stanbic Bank consequently committed to facilitating the provision of COVID-19 test kits for the GHS, in response to this call-to-action as part of its corporate social responsibility.

The statement quoted Stanbic Bank’s Chief Executive Officer, Alhassan Andani saying “Our staff were moved by the need to have enough kits for testing as knowing one’s status on Covid is the key step to controlling the pandemic. This support for the Ghana Health Service is in keeping with our commitment to the larger society we operate in. When Ghana is healthy; we are healthy. Covid-19 has underlined the need for personal commitment to tackle communal collaborations challenges and that is what these kits are to achieve.”

For UNOPS’ Director and Representative, Ifeoma Charles-Monwuba, “UNOPS emergency procurement procedure (EPP) has been deployed to support countries and partners to provide test kits and other live saving devices in response to the COVID pandemic and economic recoveries. We are excited about this partnership with Stanbic Bank and the Ghana Health Service. UNOPS as part of the United Nations remains ready to further support the government of Ghana and other partners as would be required for the COVID response or another strategic intervention.”

Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, Director General of the GHS also had the following to say: “We are very grateful to Stanbic for the donation of the RNA extract kits and a PCR test kits, it came at the right time by the time we are expanding our lab capability, especially in the public sector. It helped establish a reference lab, and free up other equipment that can be used for the Kumasi, and Takoradi reference lab. Extract kits have always been something that was causing a clog in our system that also came at the right time for us to be able to do a lot of work. We are grateful to Stanbic for the timely and very essential donation that they gave to us. We are also grateful to UNOPS for the speed in which this was done, especially in times where there was a global shortage of all these equipment, allowing us to improve our ability to fight the virus.”