Government secures $360M Covid grant from Global Fund

Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Frank Anthony says Guyana has secured some $360 million (US$1.8 million) from the Global Fund to aid the ongoing fight against COVID-19.

The Minister, who was speaking during Thursday’s COVID-19 Update, said the international financing and partnership organisation which supports the fight against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria had invited countries to apply for Covid grants.

Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Frank Anthony

“As you would know, the Global Fund has been one of our traditional partners now in health, so, we have been able, late last year to receive a small grant from the Global Fund for purposes of responding to COVID-19.

And as of this year, the Global Fund opened a special window where countries can apply for a specific COVID-19 grant. We started that application about a month ago, and we put it in, and as of two days ago, Guyana has been very successful,” Minister Anthony said.

The Health Minister said the fund will be used to upgrade Intensive Care Units (ICUs), across the country to better serve patients, particularly those affected by COVID-19.

“These funds would assist us in adding ICU types of beds, it would also assist us in procuring monitors and ventilators and create a space in each one of the regional hospitals, so that we can manage severe patients with severe Covid.”

Government expects to receive the money over the next couple of months.

Meanwhile, the Government has increased the capacity of the ICU at the Infectious Diseases Hospital at Liliendaal. Initially built and outfitted with 25 beds, the ICU now has 35 beds for Covid patients.

“We have seen at times when you can have surges of patients, and perhaps you need to make sure that you have extra capacity in case you have those surges. So, we have added that capacity to our ICU, at the COVID Hospital. And so, we’ve expanded it to about 35 beds. So, we have that extra capacity. I’m hopeful that we don’t have to use it. But if we need to put persons on ventilators and so forth, we now have that extra capacity.”

Guyana has received loans and grants for COVID-19 from a number of institutions including the World Bank.  

Additionally, as of Wednesday evening, 237,111 persons, representing 48.7 per cent of the country’s adult population, have taken their first dose of the Covid vaccine. Some 116,903 or 24 per cent of the country’s adult population have been fully immunised.

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