Mastercard commits up to $40 million for COVID-19 response in Africa

Mastercard commits up to $40 million for COVID-19 response in Africa

The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) has announced a commitment of up to $40 million from the Mastercard Foundation in support of COVID-19 response efforts on the continent.

Awarded through the Mastercard Foundation's COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Program, the funding will be used by the Partnership to Accelerate COVID-19 Testing (PACT) to purchase a million test kits, train and deploy ten thousand community healthcare workers, and support contact tracing efforts by eighty rapid responders. A partnership with the African Field Epidemiology Network, PACT is a continent-wide effort to support the procurement, storage, and distribution of diagnostics and other medical supplies; COVID testing for at least ten million individuals; the deployment of a million community workers and community healthcare workers; and the development of technology platforms designed to accelerate epidemiological modeling and health forecasting tools in support of the re-opening and recovery of local economies. 

"There is only one formula to fight COVID-19 in Africa and that is the PACT initiative," said Africa CDC director John Nkengasong. "The daily figures show clearly that the pandemic is still on the rise, and to defeat it Africa needs greater cooperation with everybody, including the governments, the community, the media, and the development partners. We need to equip, deploy and train more healthcare workers as quickly as possible, and we expect that there will be more cooperation and solidarity through PACT."

(Photo credit: Africa CDC)