The Africa Medical Supplies Platform (AMSP) has gained traction in the sourcing of medical equipment, struck new and groundbreaking partnerships globally, and experienced a surge in demand for medical supplies from the African Union member states amid the Civid-19 pandemic.
Updating the Chairperson of the African Union, President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, on the progress of the platform, the African Union Special Envoy, Strive Masiyiwa, showed the president key developments it had made in the past three weeks.
Masiyiwa said, ‘I am pleased to advise you that at our request, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has committed to joining our initiative to secure a drug called dexamethasone, which is being used to treat Covid-19 in hospitals in the US and Europe on very sick patients following the results of the Recovery Trial.
‘The trial demonstrated a significant reduction of mortality, saving lives that we could not save without this intervention. About one million people will benefit from the drug (equivalent to nine million tablets) which will be distributed proportionately for free to all countries that are interested in its use’.
The Africa Director for Gates Foundation, Cheikh Oumar Seydi, said, ‘The Gates Foundation gladly supports this initiative of the Africa Medical Supplies Platform to bring Covid-19 treatments to the African people. We have a shared belief that access to lifesaving tools should not be dependent on the ability to pay’.
It was also reported that the Africa CDC had further secured $15 million from the MasterCard Foundation. The money has been used to buy PCR Test Kits through the platform and that the donations of both dexamethasone and test kits will be distributed for free to the AU member states once they register on the platform so as to confirm their allocation and arrange delivery.
Masiyiwa also said, ‘In addition to our efforts securing the best drugs on the platform, we are preparing to become a critical player in how oxygen supplies, monoclonal antibodies, and vaccines are accessible on the continent when it is globally available’.
He told Ramaphosa that he was pleased to report that the UNICEF catalogue was now listed and purchasable on the platform, while the applications from vendors of medical suppliers have increased threefold from the time of launch.
He also reported that demand for medical supplies on the platform was high and included the member states of the African Union, leading international non-governmental organisations as well as international and African foundations.
‘We are also zeroing in on ensuring that we expand access of our platform to hospitals and local authorities approved by their governments of Member States. We believe this will help to ensure critical supplies are available at the hospital level in a speedy and timely fashion’, Masiyiwa said.
Source: Real Wire
Photo source: Embassy of Equatoria Guniea