ENABEL REACHING OUT IN THE FIGHT AGAINST COVID-19

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Brussels - 1 April 2020 | For many decades, the Belgian Development Cooperation has supported the authorities of several African states in building resilient and effective healthcare systems. That experience is relevant to address the huge challenges which the poorest countries are facing in this COVID-19 crisis.

The Belgian development agency Enabel supports healthcare systems in several African countries, namely in Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Guinea, Mauritania, Niger, DR Congo, Rwanda, Senegal and Uganda. That is why specific corona actions are planned in these countries in the next three months. This regards the supply of personal protective equipment, reagents, medicines, sterilisation supplies, oxygen support, mechanical ventilation equipment, etc. Belgium also will help in training (para)medical staff in how to do tests, in using protocols, in working for intensive care units. Finally, authorities will also be assisted in their approach of the crisis and the planning of the response.

But we also look into how we can support the private sector to respond to the pandemic: There are many dynamic young entrepreneurs who have embraced digital technology. With some backing, they can produce essential medical equipment with 3D printing or develop apps to monitor the epidemic.

Last week, Enabel helped Benin’s Ministry of Public Health with launching a corona virus information helpdesk, and in Kinshasa (DR Congo) Enabel supplied protection equipment to the National Institute for Biomedical Research (INRB). In Rwanda, since 23 March Enabel’s health experts are at the service of the national task force that coordinates the fight against the corona virus. They assist Rwanda’s authorities with hospital management, biomedical technology and basic health care. They help track and trace contacts of infected persons. Our logistic teams prepare social centres, university campuses and hotels that have been claimed to host patients. Our communication teams contribute by disseminating prevention instructions and messages. In Niger, Enabel has worked for many years with the Ministry of Public Health to make health care accessible and efficient. It is one of the poorest countries in the world and its health system is easily overburdened; it has only 500 corona test kits and 20 ventilators to address corona virus care needs.

International donors entrust the implementation of sizeable health projects to the Belgian development agency because of its many years of experience in the healthcare sector in Africa. Enabel and Belgium’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation also actively coordinate with other EU Member States.

In the longer run, it must be investigated how healthcare services in the broad sense are best supported and organised to deal with future crises. That is where the real challenge lies.

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Previous updates:


Brussels - 27 March 2020
The Belgian development agency Enabel supports the healthcare systems in several countries in Africa: Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, DR Congo, Guinea, Mauritania, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal and Uganda. Enabel is preparing targeted actions in the fight against the coronavirus in these countries. This regards the supply of protective gear, reagents, medicines, sterilisation and oxygen support, mechanical ventilation equipment, etc.

Belgium also helps in training (para)medical staff in how to do tests, in using protocols, in working for intensive care units. Finally, authorities are also assisted in their approach of the crisis and the planning of the response.

Last week, Enabel helped Benin’s Ministry of Public Health with launching a coronavirus information helpdesk, and in Kinshasa (DR Congo) Enabel supplied protection equipment to the National Institute for Biomedical Research (INRB).

Belgian, European and African authorities look together at how current and planned actions are best aligned with the most urgent local needs of these countries.

In the longer run, it must be investigated how broad healthcare services are best supported and organised to deal with future crises.

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