1. ECOWAS continues to closely monitor the evolution of the Coronavirus pandemic in the world and particularly in West Africa. As of 5 April 2020, the 15 Member States are affected by the pandemic with 1 739 confirmed cases of contamination, 55 deaths and 328 persons who have fully recovered. It should be noted that approximately 95% of deaths are patients with comorbid conditions.
2. In light of the spread of the pandemic, the ECOWAS Commission reaffirms its solidarity with Member States and welcomes all the measures already taken to contain the spread of the pandemic and care for the sick. It remains committed to supporting Member States in the fight against this pandemic. In this regard, the West African Health Organisation (WAHO), its specialised health Institution responsible for coordinating the response at the regional level, has drawn up a Regional Strategic Plan with all Member States.
3. Thus, to address the emergency at hand, ECOWAS has immediately made available financial support from its own resources, in addition to assistance from international partners, for the purchase of medical supplies and equipment essential for the fight against the pandemic.
4. WAHO has already purchased and dispatched to the 15 Member States:
- 30 500 diagnostic test kits;
- 10 000 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) (Coveralls, Aprons, gowns, gloves,
- 740 000 prescription tablets (Chloroquine and Azithromycin);
5. Orders have been placed to acquire for Member States, the following items:
- 240,000 diagnostic kits;
- 240,000 extraction kits;
- 250,000 viral sample transport equipment;
- 285,100 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE);
- 268,1000 masks for medical personnel (face masks, surgical masks, full face
- 120 ventilators;
- Several thousand litres of alcohol gel and disinfectants.
6. WAHO is also working, in close collaboration with the specialised services in Member States, to deploy personnel and epidemiological surveillance and data collection tools, strengthen the capacity of reference laboratories and train technical personnel.
7. ECOWAS and its Institution, WAHO, continue both internal and external resource mobilisation, with a view to increasing the availability of medical materials and equipment necessary to prevent, monitor and combat this pandemic. This will expand its scope of support to supplement Member States’ own efforts.
8. In addition, ECOWAS is working to complement its intervention as part of a Short and Medium Term State Assistance Plan (humanitarian assistance and support for economic recovery).
9. This is the place to thank all our partners with whom we work, for their financial and technical support to the Community in these difficult times.
10. The ECOWAS Commission is taking this opportunity to urge people to continue to implement the measures recommended by the Health Authorities, and to comply with the prescribed hygiene guidelines.
Together, we will win the fight against COVID-19.
Long live ECOWAS! Long live the ECOWAS Member States!
H.E. Jean-Claude Kassi Brou
President, ECOWAS Commission