Sanitation Supplies Help Brighten The Gambia’s Virus Outlook - Africa Defense Forum
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Sanitation Supplies Help Brighten The Gambia’s Virus Outlook

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The U.S. government donated $15,000 worth of sanitation supplies to the Gambian city of Kanifing to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Located on the country’s northwest coast, Kanifing is The Gambia’s largest city, with a population of almost 323,000. The Kanifing Municipal Council requested the supplies to support its “logistical, sanitization and safety needs,” the U.S. Embassy in The Gambia said.

Kanifing Mayor Talib Bensouda tested positive for the virus as cases surged across the country in early August. About the same time, Gambian Health Minister Amadou Samateh went into quarantine after three of his colleagues tested positive, according to a report in The Chronicle, a Gambian news agency.

As the U.S. donated the supplies outside Bensouda’s office, Richard Carl Paschall, ambassador to The Gambia, said the U.S. Embassy was proud to contribute to the city’s “efforts to support your citizens as they battle the novel coronavirus.”

“We are reminded at these times that this is a small planet, that we are all brothers and sisters and must all work together to solve problems like these,” Paschall said.

The U.S. has donated about $3 million to The Gambia to strengthen efforts to battle COVID-19 this year. The money helped produce informative television and radio broadcasts about halting the virus’s spread, a national public-awareness campaign on prevention measures, an initiative that tracks money related to the COVID-19 response, and an online effort that counters disinformation about the disease, according to the U.S. Embassy in The Gambia.

The U.S. government offers grants of up to $10,000 to Gambian alumni of U.S. exchange programs who work to inform the public about the virus and support patients recovering from it. One such grant to a public library in rural Soma — run by an alumnus of U.S. exchange programs — helped establish the COVID-19 Community Awareness Project, which is expected to reach 100,000 people through 28 weekly radio talk shows.

Prospect for Girls, a civil society organization, also recently received a U.S. donation to start a COVID-19 video campaign to raise awareness of the long-term effects the disease can have on women’s health.

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