Coronavirus: US supports Ghana to boost testing capacity


The United States of America (USA) in its quest to help Ghana win the war against the novel Coronavirus, has delivered some improved medical supplies to boost the testing capacity of Ghana.

The medical supplies arrived at Kotoka International Airport on Friday, April 24, by a US Air Force C-130J aircraft which flew from 86th Airlift Wing at Ramstein Air Base, Germany.

Commenting on the delivery of these supplies, H.E. Stephanie S. Sullivan, the US ambassador to Ghana stated, the arrival of the needed medical supplies underscores the results of the growing partnership between the United States of America and the Republic of Ghana to combat COVID-19, to save lives and protect the people of this nation.

“As confirmed cases gradually made their way to West Africa and eventually Ghana, these essential laboratory supplies became even more critical during this rapidly evolving crisis and would have remained stranded in Manchester, U.K., until sometime in May if not for the assistance of the U.S. Air Force.

“The United States commends the Government of Ghana for its strong efforts to combat this pandemic, and we are pleased to partner in its leading efforts,” she said.

Brig. General Leo Kosinshi, Director for Logistics, Air Force Command, receiving the supplies on behalf of AFRICOM, said since the emergence of COVID-19 has introduced some new hurdles we have had to consider in U.S. Africa Command’s Area of Responsibility.

“Movement of this shipment of critical medical supplies from the United Kingdom to Ghana represents one of many logistics moves executed recently despite operating in one of the most logistically challenging theaters to move people and material,” he noted.

He, however, indicated that “the fact that so many professionals from multiple commands quickly came together to work through this particular requirement highlights our amazing and unique team of professionals. They are working together every day for the interests of the American people and our global partners even in the toughest of circumstances.”

The medical equipment, weighing about 2,500 kilograms, was provided by the US Naval Medical Research Unit Three (NAMRU-3) Ghana Detachment and it includes ribonucleic acid (RNA) extraction kits, reagents, viral collection swabs, universal and viral transport media to collect and store specimen, as well as the replenishment of other consumable lab supplies.

These were ordered in January 2020 to support NAMRU-3 Ghana Detachment research efforts, in partnership with Ghana’s National Influenza Center at the Noguchi Memorial Institute of Medical Research, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, and Kumasi Centre of Collaborative Research in Tropical Medicine.

The NAMRU-3 Ghana Detachment is a collaborator within the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch Global Emerging Infections Surveillance partner network and has supported influenza surveillance for both human and avian influenza strains in Ghana since 2007.