Additional Funding for COVID-19 from The Global Fund

Statement by Minister of Health Hon. Dr. Frank Anthony September 25, 2020

I am pleased to announce that the Government of Guyana will benefit from the sum of US$357,894 in additional financial assistance, as part of The Global Fund’s COVID-19 Response Mechanism (C19RM).

These funds will go toward further boosting the Ministry of Health’s ongoing COVID-19 emergency response.

As Minister of Health, and on behalf of our Government, I am grateful to The Global Fund for their continued willingness to further contribute to improving the health sector in our beloved Guyana.

I record my gratitude to Mr. Mark Eldon-Edington, Division Head of Grant Management at The Global Fund, who communicated the decision on the approval of the funds, to me in a letter dated today, September 25, 2020.

Mr. Eldon-Edington, in his letter, noted that the COVID-19 pandemic is rapidly spreading across the globe and threatens to, among other things, overwhelm community and health systems, and cause significant morbidity and mortality.

To mitigate the impact of the pandemic and support health and community systems in Guyana, this US$357,894 of additional funding will certainly enhance our country’s COVID-19 response. Given the urgency of these interventions and activities, the funds will be incorporated into the grants no later than November 12, 2020.

I also express appreciation to Mr. Dereck Springer, Consultant contracted by PAHO to develop the proposal, Mr. Filippo Larrera, Guyana’s Global Fund Portfolio Manager, and all staff of the Ministry of Health for their dedication and tireless effort throughout this entire process. 

We all know the outbreak and spread of the COVID-19 present an unprecedented challenge, not only for countries around the world, but also for Guyana and all the countries along our borders. 

The COVID-19 pandemic is likely to remain a global challenge for many more months and experts predict that, until a vaccine becomes available, it will continue to be a major public health emergency across the world.

None of us must underestimate the serious impact of COVID-19 on the health, the social and the economic wellbeing of our country and people.

It is in this context that I reiterate the seriousness of the COVID-19 epidemic in Guyana and urge every citizen to become part of the fight against the disease.  In this regard, the Ministry of Health welcomes this additional funding from The Global Fund in the fight against COVID-19 in Guyana.

Since early August, our Government has taken aggressive steps to remove the limitations and strengthen our response. We have also been ensuring an aggressive laboratory testing programme, expanding contact-tracing, providing exposed persons with testing and counselling, and providing an effective hospital treatment and care programme for all critically-ill patients.

At the same time, our Government is empowering people to utilise measures to keep safe, such as urging mask-wearing in public, encouraging social distancing at all times, and discouraging public and private gatherings of crowds.

Since there is increased testing, the detection of more COVID-19 cases is now more efficient and, therefore, more cases are being reported on a daily basis. Today, we know better where the virus is lurking through our increased testing, hence we can treat people earlier. If we all work together, we can stop COVID-19.

The Government is confident that, as we expand our emergency response through our own resources combined with external support, such as this additional financial assistance from The Global Fund, we will see a significant reduction of the impact of COVID-19.

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Coronavirus disease spreads primarily through contact with an infected person when they cough or sneeze. It also spreads when a person touches a surface or object that has the virus on it, then touches their eyes, nose, or mouth. We urge citizens to practice good hygiene and social or physical distancing also adhere to the guidelines provided by the Ministry of Health, Guyana.