$10m shot in arm for fight against Covid-19, HIV and TB in Western Cape | News24

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Alan Winde, Will Stevens and Nomafrench Mbombo during the signing ceremony.

  • The Western Cape government and USAID this week signed a $10 million government-to-government agreement aimed fighting Covid-19, HIV and TB.
  • Premier Alan Winde said the partnership “demonstrates the importance of the strong bilateral relationship between both governments”.
  • Acting US Consul General in Cape Town, Will Stevens, said the partnership was focused on strengthening the local health system.

The fight against Covid-19, HIV and TB in the Western Cape got a shot in the arm after the US government, through the United States Agency for International Development, signed a five-year government-to-government agreement worth $10 million.

Premier Alan Winde said the partnership “demonstrates the importance of the strong bilateral relationship between both governments”, following a signing ceremony at the District Six Community Day Centre on Tuesday.

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The first year of the agreement will focus on expanding convenient options for patients to pick up their chronic medicines and help them receive health services, like consultations virtually through telemedicine, the parties said in a statement.

The award will also integrate HIV and TB screening during Covid-19 vaccination drives.

“Public health facilities across the Western Cape have come under tremendous pressures as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. While the pandemic strained the local health system, it has also inspired many healthcare innovations. The G2G will allow innovations, such as the recently launched VaccStations and e-lockers for chronic medications, to be fully realised.”

The move symbolised USAID’s commitment to strengthening local service provision and delivery by working with local governments to implement and sustain activities, its Southern Africa mission director, Andy Karas, said.

Karas said:

This G2G leverages the innovation and entrepreneurial spirit within the Western Cape Department of Health, further supporting the essential work already being done by public servants in the province to respond efficiently and effectively to HIV, Covid-19, and TB.

Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo said partnerships were essential to achieving the department’s set goals and targets.

“The Covid-19 crisis has shown us that we need each other, we can’t defeat it on our own. We each have a role to play,” she said.

Acting US Consul General in Cape Town Will Stevens said the partnership was, at its core, focused on strengthening the local health system, and ultimately saving lives.

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