(CMR) Cayman has sold 50,000 PCR test kits to an organization that has earmarked them for Zimbabwe.
It was announced today that the ELMA Relief Foundation (‘ELMA’) has paid US $1,100,000 to the Cayman Islands Government as full reimbursement for the cost of 50,000 PCR tests surplus to its needs. ELMA has donated these test kits to the Clinton Health Access Initiative (“CHAI”) for use in Zimbabwe, which is one of the most resource-constrained countries in Africa facing an urgent shortage of such test kits as the COVID-19 pandemic spreads.
The operation to move the kits from frozen storage in George Town to Southern Africa was coordinated by ELMA, the HSA and the Governor’s Office.
The Cayman Islands Government originally sourced 200,000 kits at the beginning of the pandemic to ensure that Cayman had the ability to test large numbers and became one of the top three countries in the world for COVID testing per capita. The kits provided under the arrangement with ELMA leaves Cayman with sufficient supplies going forward.
Governor Martyn Roper said:
“I am very grateful to the ELMA Relief Foundation for organizing this initiative. We purchased an excess of COVID tests to ensure Cayman’s resilience at a crucial point in the pandemic. Our options in terms of testing have now expanded and it is great that our surplus kits will be going to assist with COVID response in Africa”.
Premier Alden McLaughlin commented: “I am delighted that these vital supplies will be going to support vulnerable communities in Africa and that Cayman was able to play a part in that as well as supporting other Caribbean countries. Our stocks of COVID testing supplies remain robust and we continue to look at innovative solutions to help us navigate through this crisis”
One of ELMA’s partners in the COVID-19 response effort in Africa is CHAI, which for twenty years has been supporting governments across the developing world to contain the spread and impact of diseases such as HIV/AIDS and Malaria.
CHAI is a key partner of the World Health Organization, the African Union, and many African governments in responding to COVID-19. In particular, CHAI has also been supporting the World Health Organization to procure and deliver other COVID-19 supplies, such as personal protective equipment, diagnostics, and oxygen supplies to countries across the developing world.
In Africa, in addition to assisting with the procurement of essential COVID-19 supplies, CHAI supports laboratory systems to run COVID-19 testing, and health systems in managing oxygen and respiratory support to manage severe cases of COVID-19.