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How Botswana benefitted from U.S government amid COVID-19

Botswana is one of the countries which shares good bilateral relations with the United States of America (USA). Even in the midst of the global pandemic, the U.S government has extended a helping hand to Botswana on a number of occasions. Through their Facebook page, the U.S Embassy in Botswana outlined the assistance which their government has offered to Botswana in an effort to fight the Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

1. Over P84 Million assistance

Thus far the government of the U.S has helped Botswana with over Eighty-four Million Pula (P84 Million) or US$84 Million. $4.8 million was for health facility and community response; $1.7 million is to construct 14 COVID-19 isolation facilities to support pandemic mitigation efforts to remote and under-resourced communities across Botswana; $1.2 million will support vaccination programs; $500,000 was used to develop an emergency supply chain playbook; $196,000 addressed HIV-related COVID-19 issues; and $50,000 was for PPE procurement.

2. Published COVID-19 prevention materials

The U.S. Mission published COVID-19 prevention and management materials for clinics and public spaces. The embassy say it is also developing content for the national COVID-19 communications campaign. Moreover, the embassy have hosted webinars for healthcare workers on COVID mitigation measures and monitoring.

3. Building of Isolation clinics

In the surge of COVID-19 infections, which led to the health system being overwhelmed, The U.S. Mission is building COVID-19 isolation clinics to improve access to healthcare for those infected with COVID-19 in remote parts of Botswana. Furthermore, The U.S. Mission is helping the National Public Health Laboratory (NPHL) to manage the national testing for the current pandemic, develop an outbreak surveillance and response system, develop quality management systems for the lab and act as oversight for other public health laboratories.

4. Supporting CMS supply chain

The Central Medical Stores (CMS) has for the longest time been accused of poor management of medicines. They have in a number of instances reported to have thrown away medicines while the same are in dire shortage at district level. The U.S. Mission is supporting Central Medical Stores to prepare the country’s supply chain system for the demands of the vaccine roll out from receipt of vaccines in Botswana to distribution to the vaccine sites and to administration of vaccines. In addition, the U.S. Mission will strengthen efforts to surveille the safety of COVID vaccines..”The U.S. Mission has also supported the development of an emergency supply chain playbook to bolster the efforts of the Central Medical Stores to continue to ensure the people of Botswana can access life-saving medication during the COVID-19 pandemic and for potential future pandemics.” the embassy stated

5 .Public Education on COVID-19

The U.S. Mission developed radio messages and other risk communication tools to ensure rural and urban communities are well informed of the risks and prevention measures for COVID-19. “Our Let’s Talk campaign, featured on social media and three different radio stations, incorporated COVID-19 prevention, and awareness themes.” the U.S Embassy asserted. The embassy further reveals that they are engaging a network of U.S. universities, NGOs, and businesses to support Botswana’s COVID-19 efforts. Thee University of Maryland, the University of Pennsylvania, Rutgers University, and the University of Washington are mentioned as those universities which engaged for public health programming.

These are the major areas of assistance where the U.S government extended a helping hand to Botswana, there are many more which the embassy has mentioned.

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