Uganda is set to benefit from a $40m (over sh149b) special fund set up by the Mastercard Foundation and the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention to boost the COVID-19 fight.

The COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Program aims to accelerate COVID-19 testing on the continent and strengthen tracing, and treatment of COVID-19 cases. 

These funds will be used to purchase 1 million test kits, as well as train and deploy 10,000 community healthcare workers and 80 surveillance rapid responders to support contact tracing as well as strengthen the Africa CDC's capacity to oversee a continental response to the pandemic. 

Last Thursday, Samuel Yalew Adela, the Country Head of Mastercard Foundation in Uganda said during a press webinar that the foundation would support key institutions to build resilience even after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the partnership, Africa CDC will undertake several COVID-19 response measures in partnership with key institutions to help limit COVID-19 transmission in Africa. 

Africa CDC is working with member states and partners to support pooled procurement, storage and distribution of diagnostics and other medical supplies.

The institution is in the process of testing at least 10 million individuals and the deploying of one million community healthcare workers to lead the fight against COVID-19. 

These medics will help in tracing contacts and the deployment of tech platforms to enhance testing, critical health forecasting, re-opening and recovery of economies, among priorities.

Africa CDC has distributed over 2.5 million tests and provided medical equipment (personal protective equipment, thermal scanners, and ventilators), across Africa, an advisory says. 

By the end of May, Africa CDC had deployed 164 health workers to support COVID-19 response within Ethiopia, where the Africa CDC is headquartered, and across 14 member States. 

Despite the progress, governments across Africa face hurdles within their public health systems, which must be met to ensure an effective and sustained response to the pandemic. 

Experts are worried that the pandemic is still on the rise as daily figures grow, an indication that the continent needs greater cooperation all key players to defeat the virus.