U.S. Ambassador to Ghana Stephanie S. Sullivan announced major U.S. Government supports for Ghana’s COVID-19 response. The support package includes the installation of four oxygen plants, a $1.5 million 30-bed negative pressure isolation system and 28 high-flow, high-pressure oxygen concentrators. Ambassador Sullivan reiterated the close partnership between the United States and Ghana.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us important lessons. No nation can act alone in the face of a pandemic. It is not enough to put an end to the pandemic; together, it is important to build back a better world, one that is more prepared to prevent, detect, and respond to future biological threats, and where all people can live safe and healthy lives.”H.E. Stephanie S. Sullivan | U.S. Ambassador to Ghana
Each of the donated oxygen plants have the capacity to produce 250 liters of oxygen per minute, enough for approximately 25 severely ill patients per day. One of the oxygen plants is installed at the Ghana Infectious Disease Center (Greater Accra Regional Hospital) while other plants have been scheduled for installation at Cape Coast Municipal Hospital, Kumasi South Hospital and Tamale West Hospital. USAID will also provide 28 high-flow, high-pressure oxygen concentrators to healthcare facilities across Ghana’s 16 regions to provide life-saving oxygen. Each specialized concentrator can provide oxygen for three severely ill patients at a time. The package of oxygen support includes not only equipment, but also supplies of oxygen cylinders and pulse oximeters, and the training of health staff and engineers in the use and maintenance of the equipment.
The negative pressure isolation system was donated through the U.S. Department of Defense’s Overseas Humanitarian, Disaster, and Civic Aid program to Ridge Hospital in Accra. The isolation system will enable the provision of critical care support for up to 30 COVID-19 patients, by enabling the hospital to isolate infectious patients to provide them safe care that prevents the spread of COVID-19 in a climate-controlled isolation area. The facility will be vital for the current management of COVID-19 cases, and in the long-term it is essential equipment needed to deliver good quality medical services.
A statement from Ghana’s Minister of Health, Mr. Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, expressed gratitude to the United States Government for its contribution improving healthcare delivery in Ghana. Mr. Agygeman-Manu described the assistance as timely and essential considering the oxygen-dependent COVID-19 cases Ghana has been recording the challenges with oxygen shortages caused by the disease burden.
Acting Director of the Ghana Infectious Disease Centre (GIDC), Dr. Joseph Adjetey Oliver-Commey, said assistance would boost centre’s operational capacity. Dr. Oliver-Commey explained that due to oxygen availability, the 100-bed centre currently operates at 30 functional-bed-capacity. Dr Emmanuel Srofenyo, the Medical Director of the Greater Accra Regional Hospital, where the isolation system is installed, said hospital management and staff were happy and grateful to the United States for setting up the isolation facility. He explained that the centre’s current 16-bed isolation centre had become insufficient to manage the caseload into the facility. Dr Srofenyo said a major benefit of the donated isolation system what that it was movable, which meant it could be move to any part of Ghana to respond to emergencies when the need arose.
These supports follow a recent US Government donation of 1.2 million Moderna vaccines to Ghana, the largest vaccine donation Ghana has received to date. The United States has already donated 125 million vaccines to more than 80 countries, including more than 26 million in Sub-Saharan Africa alone.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States Government has provided well over $30 million to support Ghana’s COVID-19 response to address the immediate and medium-term effects of COVID-19 on the health, agriculture, and education sectors, and to support the hard-hit private sector.
For decades, the United States has been the world’s largest provider of bilateral assistance in health. Since 2009, American taxpayers have generously funded more than $100 billion in health assistance and nearly $70 billion in humanitarian assistance around the world.