Covid-19: US CDC provides $3.6 million to support India’s response

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Funds to help strengthen India’s testing capacity, develop infection prevention and control centers of excellence.

The US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has committed $3.6 million to support India’s prevention, preparedness, and response activities to combat the covid-19 pandemic.

This initial tranche of funding will seek to further strengthen and support Indian government’s efforts to increase laboratory capacity for SARS-COV-2 testing, including molecular diagnostics and serology, according to the US embassy in India.

The funds will also be used to support the development of Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) centers of excellence that can improve the ability of hospital networks to detect covid-19 and strengthen local health systems through enhanced surveillance and monitoring systems.

The CDC will work with local partners to assist in the development of a strong public health workforce to support India’s capacity to respond not only to this pandemic but to future threats as well, an embassy release said.

The scope of support will include planning for health emergency operations centers to further strengthen public health emergency management capacities, it said.

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In addition, the CDC India program will provide technical assistance for the Government of India’s ongoing crisis emergency and risk communication efforts.

Since early January, the CDC’s India Office has been collaborating with sub-national and national government institutes to support the covid-19 response in India, the embassy said.

Collaboration efforts are focused on lab strengthening, infection prevention and control, health workforce development, emergency management, risk communication, and community engagement.

The CDC has conducted trainings across India for healthcare administrators, physicians, nurses, and hospital staff on preparedness and response, infection prevention and control, laboratory operations, and field epidemiology.

The trainings are intended to equip frontline response workers with the necessary skills to collect, analyze, and interpret data, and contribute to evidence-based decisions, the embassy said.

The goal of the CDC’s global health response to covid-19 is to limit human-to-human transmission and minimize the impact of covid-19 through partnerships with key country and non-governmental partners to mitigate vulnerabilities and gaps in preparedness, it said.

Over the last 20 years, US government agencies, including the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the CDC, and other Department of Health and Human Services agencies, have provided more than $1.4 billion in health assistance and nearly $2.8 billion in total assistance, the embassy said.

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