On 26 October, the Government of Flanders approved a grant of 600,000 euros to APOPO. With this subsidy APOPO can join the fight against the spread of the COVID19 virus in Mozambique. An additional subsidy for protective material for the Mozambican Health Institute (INS) was also approved.
This additional funding is a response to the request of the Mozambican Government and international health partners to deploy or redirect as much funds as possible with regard to the Covid-19 crisis response. In almost all current projects in Mozambique, the Flemish development cooperation has implemented this reorientation of funds.
APOPO, known for its work with the giant pouched rats, has been working on tuberculosis detection in Maputo since 2013 with the support of Flanders. The organization has an extensive network of local partners, a good infrastructure and experienced staff. With this grant APOPO can adapt its existing detection services for TB so that they are also suitable for Covid-19 diagnosis in order to increase the testing capacity in Maputo. The organization will also investigate whether the tests can be performed faster and more efficiently by heat inactivation and pooling of samples (Read more about this project).
For the Institutio Nacional de Saude Mozambique (INS), the Government of Flanders also provides an additional grant of 87,000 euros. INS and the Institute of Tropical Medicine Antwerp (ITG) have jointly launched the AfriCoVER project with European funds. The aim of the project is to better understand the transmissibility and epidemic spread of COVID-19 in Mozambique and Sub-Saharan Africa so that medical and preventive resources and strategies can be used more effectively and efficiently. At the start of the project, at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, existing staff security protocols seemed to be sufficient. In the meantime, it is known that Covid-19 contamination is completely different from e.g. cholera, TB and even Ebola. And the protocols need to be adjusted. Flanders now provides extra resources to make this necessary adjustment possible, so that the safety of the personnel deployed by INS can be guaranteed. (Read more about this project).
Mozambique is one of the three partner countries of the Flemish development cooperation. The focus of the cooperation lies on health care.
Photo: Representative Reymenants during visit to Apopo
General Representation of the Government of Flanders in Southern Africa