The United States organized an airlift by USAID of COVID-19 antigen rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) that landed in Pakistan to help in the efficient diagnosis of COVID-19 and allow the government to respond to urgent health requirements.
The donation was formally received by the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister, Dr. Faisal Sultan at a ceremony here.
In his remarks at the time, Dr. Sultan said, “We are grateful to USAID for donating these rapid antigen tests.”
He further emphasized that this endeavor reflects the two nations’ close relations.
The US government has allocated more than $40 million to Pakistan for COVID-19 response assistance, including a donation of 200 ventilators to care for COVID-19 patients, personal protective equipment, and pulse oximeters.
This support has benefited Pakistanis across the country, providing life-saving treatments, strengthening case detection and surveillance, and mobilizing innovative funding to strengthen emergency preparedness.
USAID aid also includes a $2 billion investment to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, to fund the procurement and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines to 92 low- and middle-income countries, with another $2 billion commitment anticipated by 2022.
This contribution to Gavi’s Global Access to COVID-19 Vaccines, also known as COVAX, is supporting equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines for the world’s most vulnerable and at-risk populations, including frontline healthcare professionals.
Pakistan also received 5.5 million doses of the Modern vaccine as part of this COVAX effort.
At the time, USAID Mission Director Julie Koenen said: “These RDTs will meet Pakistan’s needs for rapid surveillance, diagnosis, and maintenance of the spread of COVID-19 at the lowest levels.” Since the outbreak began in early 2020, USAID has worked to save lives and contain the pandemic in more than 120 countries, including Pakistan.
USAID’s ongoing assistance provides emergency relief, strengthens health systems, supports vaccine preparation and distribution, improves public health education, and protects health professionals and facilities.