Ireland contributes €500,000 to UNICEF to support Healthcare Workers responding to COVID-19
News14 May 2020
Ireland’s support will enable UNICEF to procure key supplies and equipment including personal protective equipment for healthcare workers.
As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Tanzania’s major cities and regions, measures are continuing to support the healthcare system to respond to the novel Coronavirus.
The Government of Tanzania has developed a COVID-19 response plan, with the support of partners including UNICEF, who will be implementing specific components of the plan. The COVID-19 plan aims to support frontline healthcare and Community Health Workers (CHWs) by providing them with protective personal equipment (PPE), as well as key equipment and supplies to provide medical care to patients with COVID-19. This is particularly important in Tanzania as only about half of the required health staff are in place contributing to underlying deficiencies in the healthcare system.
UNICEF will contribute to strengthen the response in line with the Government’s own response plan and will contribute to the overall strengthening of the country’s emergency response by supporting the procurement of the requirements of the Consolidated Supply Plan.
Ireland’s response is designed to enable Clinicians and CHWs to provide health services, and to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 in so far as possible. Ireland has issued a grant of €500,000 to UNICEF as a direct response to COVID-19 for the procurement of key COVID-19 supplies, equipment and PPE to strengthen the availability of protection for frontline workers. This grant compliments support to Benjamin Mkapa Foundation to pay voluntary clinicians and CHWs stipends for three to six months to help bridge the human resources for health gap. In addition, Ireland has provided support to the WHO for overall coordination, to scale up testing and surveillance.
The COVID-19 support builds on Ireland’s support to the healthcare system more broadly. Ireland’s contribution to the Health Basket Fund supports the provision of primary care in 5,700 health facilities across the country and will help ensure primary healthcare services continue to be provided during this pandemic. The basic operations costs, medical supplies and medicines are extremely important. The provision of basic healthcare services will continue to be key during this pandemic, in particular HIV, Malaria, Tuberculosis, Reproductive Health and Child Health Services and Nutrition. Through multiple partners, the Embassy has rolled out Community Healthcare Workers in four regions, who will be mobilized as needed to provide frontline services for basic primary healthcare, as well as community COVID-19 surveillance and case referral. Key to maintaining these frontline health workers in position is to protect them against infection which requires that they be provided with sufficient PPE, clinical supplies and adequate training.
Ireland will continue to prioritise coordinated efforts and coherent responses. The Embassy participates in regular coordination meetings with the Government of Tanzania, UNICEF and the WHO and, considering contextual limitations due to COVID-19, will use the Emergency Preparedness and Response (EPR) coordination structures to monitor progress.