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From Afghanistan to South Sudan: how WHO and partners continue to fight COVID-19 around the world

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As countries ramp up their COVID-19 vaccination campaigns and work to contain new variants of the virus, WHO is tirelessly working towards equitable access of the new vaccines and continues to provide support in many other ways to countries all over the world. Here are some recent activities WHO was able to carry out to thanks to the vital backing of its many donors.

India rolls out the world’s largest COVID-19 vaccination drive with support from WHO

India recently rolled out the world’s largest COVID-19 vaccination drive in January to reach around 300 million individuals in priority groups. The vaccines will be administered at over 3 000 sites in all states and union territories. Among the first to be vaccinated are 10 million health-workers who are at high risk of exposure to the disease. WHO is supporting the campaign through information, monitoring, and providing guidelines.

WHO helps maintain essential cholera protection during the COVID-19 pandemic in South Sudan

WHO is supporting an oral cholera vaccination campaign in South Sudan to protect flood-displaced populations in high-risk areas.

The five-day campaign in January was organized and led by the Ministry of Health with support from WHO, UNICEF, IOM, MEDAIR and other partners to reach nearly 100 000 individuals aged one year and above in Pibor town, Verteth, Gumuruk and Lekuangule.

With European Union support, WHO will fight COVID-19 and strengthen health systems in Somalia

The Delegation of the European Union (EU) to Somalia and the WHO Somalia country office recently signed a €5 million multi-year contribution agreement for a project to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 and to strengthen the country’s health systems.

WHO and the EU Delegation to Somalia will continue to collaborate closely in the future, alongside the health authorities, in their joint efforts to reach and support the most vulnerable populations across the country with essential and life-saving health services.

WHO and DHL team up to deliver health-care equipment to the Pacific

WHO recently teamed up with DHL Global Forwarding to coordinate WHO’s latest delivery: more than US$ 2 million worth of medical devices such as oxygen concentrator sets, patient monitors and pulse oximeters. The equipment was flown with the help of DHL from Singapore to WHO’s Division of Pacific Technical Support in Fiji.

The devices are destined for hospitals and other health-care facilities in eight countries and areas in the Pacific, where they will help local medical professionals to treat COVID-19 patients.

Canada and WHO support COVID-19 prevention programme among indigenous people in Bolivia

Thanks to funding from the government of Canada and technical assistance from the WHO Regional Office for the Americas, Bolivia recently established a culturally adapted communication and training programme to prevent and manage COVID-19 in the tropics of Cochabamba. The programme is aimed to help the Pachinu and Bia Recuate communities of the Yuqui people and benefitted from their active participation.

EU, WHO donate supplies to enhance lab capacity for COVID-19 testing in Belize

The European Union (EU) and WHO Regional Office for the Americas recently donated a stock of crucial supplies to the Central Medical Laboratory, Ministry of Health and Wellness to enhance the laboratory’s capacity to continue the screening and testing for COVID-19 nationwide.

WHO, Germany deliver critical medical supplies to Western Balkan countries to strengthen COVID-19 response and save lives

WHO has partnered with the German Government to deliver medical supplies worth € 3.65 million to countries in the Western Balkan region. These supplies – 334 ventilators and 19 400 pulse oximeters – will equip health facilities to monitor and improve the health outcomes of COVID-19 patients, particularly in intensive care units.

The shipments were distributed at the end of 2020 to hospitals across the region’s five countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, and Kosovo. They will serve the immediate needs of countries during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as strengthen the capacities of hospitals for future health emergencies.

EU provides additional €35 million to support the fight against COVID-19 in Afghanistan

The EU-Delegation in Kabul recently announced additional support of € 35 million to tackle COVID-19 and mitigate its socioeconomic impacts in Afghanistan. Since the start of the pandemic, the EU has mobilized almost € 147 million to address the immediate health crisis and provide humanitarian assistance to people in need.

The additional funds will contribute to strengthening the response capacity of health systems to test and treat patients, to improve infection prevention, to raise awareness and to reduce nutritional risks through three projects implemented by WHO, UNICEF and a consortium led by the Aga Khan Foundation.