According to reports, WHO has already warned that the number of malaria-related deaths in the region could increase, as all the attention is no focused on controlling COVID-19.
India has reached out to 32 African countries with supplies of essential medical kits which include test kits, consignments of Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), Paracetamol and other essential drugs to help the region to fight the spread of the global pandemic COVID-19. “The supplies have been dispatched and some are on the way. They will reach their destinations soon. These are being sent as either grant or on the commercial basis,” a source confirmed to Financial Express Online.
The consignment of the HCQ is heading mostly to the Sub Saharan countries where malaria-related deaths are high. According to reports, WHO has already warned that the number of malaria-related deaths in the region could increase, as all the attention is no focused on controlling COVID-19.
“Extending a helping hand to other regions including Africa, during the global pandemic has given India space and credibility to support its friends, especial in the medical field. “It has successfully projected India as a Pharmacy of the world,” a senior diplomat opined.
Almost all the countries from the region including South Africa which is also a member of IBSA & BRICS grouping, Uganda, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Zambia, amongst others have south India’s help.
Earlier this week 6 million units of HCQ have reached Morocco. The delivery of the 6 million units of the HCQ has been completed, confirmed India’s ambassador to Morocco Shambhu S Kumaran.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has been in regular touch with the African Union chairman, heads of governments in the region through telephone calls and has committed help to them in the time of crisis.
Having a sizeable Indian Diaspora, the countries in the African Continent have been special beneficiaries of India’s medical diplomacy. India has been regularly supplying generic drugs in East and Southern Africa, and also has a telemedicine and ITEC training programme for the region in the health sector.
Indian Navy Heading to Africa with aid
The Indian Navy ship INS Kesari had recently sailed with medical consignment, and traditional Indian medicinal remedies and food grain towards the Maldives, Mauritius, Seychelles, Madagascar and Comoros.
Tunisia helps in repatriating stranded Indians
On Friday, North African state of Tunisia sent back 25 stranded Indians onboard its military flight free of charge. The flight which was on its way to repatriate Tunisian citizens from Thailand and Vietnam carried Indian nationals who are from Maharashtra (6); Gujarat (7); Tamil Nadu (2); Karnataka (2); UP (4); and one each from Andhra Pradesh; Jharkhand.
What is India sending & where?
Besides the essential drugs including HCQ, Paracetamol and ibuprofen, India is also sending other antibiotics, anti-diabetic, anti-cancer, anti-asthmatic and cardiovascular drugs. On the list of items to be sent, there are injections, medical devices, and thermometers.
As has been reported earlier the HCQ is going to Burkina Faso, Niger, Mali, Congo, Egypt, Mauritius, Seychelles, Madagascar, Zambia, Uganda, and Comoros.
The consignment of Paracetamol is heading to Zambia, Uganda, Burkina Faso, Niger, Mali, Congo, Egypt, Eswatini, Chad, Republic of Congo, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Zimbabwe.