In troubled times, friends and allies must pull together
COVID-19 coronavirus in Africa
As the world is witnessing the increasing cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic spread and deaths in almost all the countries, all nations should pull their forces together with joint efforts during these troubled times in order to win the battle against this deadly disease.
British High Commissioner to Tanzania Sarah Cooke had suggested in her press opinion that the impact of the coronavirus pandemic has been global and non-discriminatory.
“We are currently facing extremely challenging times. The impact of the coronavirus pandemic has been global and non-discriminatory. The global death toll continues to rise; the impact on trade and global markets has been devastating; and the effects will stay with us for months and years to come, affecting livelihoods across the world”, Sarah said.
She said that the United Kingdom is the largest single contributor of any country in the world to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation (CEPI), pledging UK £ 544 milion to develop a coronavirus vaccine.
“The UK has also provided an additional UK£ 200 million to support the global work of World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) and the World Food Program amongst others,” she said.
In Tanzania, the UK Government has given an initial UK £ 2.73 million to help the Tanzanian government stop the spread of COVID-19 in Tanzania. UK aid already provides safe water supplies in communities and public spaces across the country, the High Commissioner said.
“Together with the Tanzanian government, we are now bolstering this to provide clean water and sanitation stations in hundreds of health clinics. This will prevent the spread of COVID-19 and give people the confidence to visit clinics to get the care they need,” she said.
New UK funding will also provide essential materials to protect health workers, so they can treat patients and prevent the spread of the virus. The UK is funding checks for COVID-19 on Tanzania’s borders, providing a strong first line of defense before cases come into the community.
“For those cases already in the community, we are supporting the World Health Organization to quickly identify and manage them so fewer people are infected as a result,” the Madam Sarah noted in her opinion message.
“We are also providing timely and factual information to help slow the spread of the virus. For example, the famous Nyumba ni Choo campaign, backed by UK aid, will now also raise awareness of COVID-19”, she added.
With UK support, the edutainment cartoon kids shows “Akili and Me” and “Ubongo Kids” will give age appropriate information to children about the importance of hand washing.
“We know from other countries that Covid-19 has the potential to hit the most vulnerable people hardest”, she noted.
The UK Government already provides support to those who need it most, providing lifesaving health services to women and girls around Tanzania, and supporting young people to get a quality education.
“We are adapting and strengthening these efforts in response to COVID-19, to provide food, income, health and education to the most vulnerable people and their families at this uncertain time,” the UK High Commissioner to Tanzania said.
“We know this will be a long fight and understand the importance of protecting jobs and livelihoods. So now, more than ever, we must work together to help Tanzania trade. We must ensure that vital medical supplies can reach the country and that trade routes and markets remain open, which are vital for economic growth,” she added.
She said that the private sector also has a vital role to play. British businesses in Tanzania and across the East African region and Africa are stepping up to the challenge.
Among others, Standard Chartered Bank has committed US $1 billion (dollars one billion) globally to support companies manufacturing essential medical supplies.
Unilever has partnered with the UK Government to deliver a hand washing campaign; and the Kilombero Sugar Company has donated ethanol to produce hand sanitizer here in Tanzania.
“I was moved by the words of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in her recent address to the UK and Commonwealth when she said; “Together we are tackling this disease, and I want to reassure you that if we remain united and resolute, then we will overcome it,” Madam Cooke said.
“I hope in the years to come everyone will be able to take pride in how they responded to this challenge.” This is the mantra I will be taking forward. It is clear that we must unite to fight COVID-19,” she noted down.
“That we all have a responsibility to save lives. The UK will continue to be a partner and friend to Tanzania as we work together to fight this pandemic,” concluded the UK High Commissioner to Tanzania, Madam Sarah Cooke in her press opinion message in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic battle.