UN Supplies Over 75,000 Test Kits to Government of Myanmar in Fight Against COVID-19
FIGHT AGAINST COVID-19
The United Nations agencies, funds and programmes are continuing to provide strong support to the Government of Myanmar’s efforts to prepare and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Testing remains one of the most effective ways of quick identification of cases, ensuring medical support for people who contracted the virus and immediate isolation to prevent its spread. Whilst providing supporting on preparedness and response across a broad range of areas, the United Nations in Myanmar has given specific emphasis to supporting the Government to increase its testing capacity.
Since the first recorded confirmed case in Myanmar, the United Nations has come together to mount a collective response to boost support to the Government of Myanmar’s testing strategy and has handed over 73,000 test kits to the Ministry of Health and Sports and its relevant laboratory facilities.
The first batch of 3,000 test reagents provided by the World Health Organization and its partners arrived in country late March. The Access to Health Fund, funded by the United Kingdom, Sweden, United States and Switzerland and managed by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) has handed over more than 55,000 test kits in two separate batches, complimented by 20,000 more test kits procured by United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), also delivered in two batches during the last two months. The Access to Health Fund also delivered two automated sample extraction machines to the National Health Laboratory to improve the accuracy of testing.
United Nations support to respond to COVID-19 has also focused on providing protection for frontline healthcare workers and communities, support to strengthening existing capacities across various levels of government and at grassroots level to effectively prepare and respond, risk communication and community engagement, and ensuring continuity of ongoing development, and humanitarian programming.
Central to the UN’s collective response has been the launch of the World Food Programme’s (WFP) weekly aid flights between Yangon to Kuala Lumpur in light of the temporary suspension of commercial flights. Initially funded by the European Union and Switzerland, these WFP flights have facilitated the regular delivery to Myanmar of supplies, including test kits and other vital equipment, and the arrival of humanitarian and development personnel.
UNICEF in Myanmar
UNICEF has been working with the Government and the people of Myanmar since 1950. In partnership with the Government and the civil society, UNICEF’s current focus of work aims at reducing child mortality, improving access and quality of education and protecting children from violence, abuse and exploitation.