The Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) and the government of Ethiopia have received a consignment of medical supplies shipped by Chinese billionaire Jack Ma and Alibaba Foundations to combat coronavirus pandemic on the continent.
The shipment included over 1.5 million laboratory diagnostic test kits and over 100 tons of infection prevention and control commodities.
The relief initiative was launched by the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed, the Jack Ma Foundation, and Alibaba Foundation as part of actions towards implementation of the Africa joint continental strategy for COVID-19 led by the African Union through Africa CDC.
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From Addis Ababa, the medical supplies will be distributed to the rest of Africa.
“On behalf of the Chairperson of the African Union, His Excellency, Cyril Ramaphosa, we thank the Jack Ma and Alibaba Foundations for this generous hospitality and contribution to the continent. We thank His Excellency the Prime Minister, and the Government of Ethiopia, for facilitating the donation,” said Mr Edward Xolisa Makaya, South Africa’s Permanent Representative to Ethiopia and the African Union.
“This is a great honour and initiative and a great sign of solidarity that the world needs at this critical time. The test kits and other materials will support African countries in their fight against this outbreak. We are facing a humanitarian situation, an economic situation and a security situation in the continent and Africa CDC clearly applauds the initiative of the prime minister and the Jack Ma and Alibaba Foundations,” said Dr John Nkengasong, Director of Africa CDC.
Ethiopian Airlines will help distribute the equipment, consisting 20,000 laboratory diagnostic test kits, 100,000 medical masks, and 1000 protective suits and face shields, to each of the Member States as part of their contribution to the fight against COVID-19 in Africa.
“We appeal to our ministries of health to ensure that these materials are distributed and used where they are mostly needed,” said H.E. Ambassador Mohamed Idriss Farah, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Djibouti, Dean of African Diplomatic Corps, and Chair of the African Union Peace and Security Council.