COVID-19 has seriously impacted systems for health, overwhelming health facilities, exposing weaknesses in supply chains, and putting health workers and community health workers on the front lines in danger.
Testing is the first line of defense in the fight against COVID-19. Without testing, countries cannot track or contain the spread of the virus, address urgent clinical needs, test the efficacy of vaccines, or detect the emergence of new variants. To save lives and fight this pandemic, there is an urgent need to scale up testing and ensure immediate equitable access to diagnostic tools across the world.
The remote health post in Koribondo has no electricity, the sole midwife rushes from one pregnant woman to another, and nurses use buckets to fetch water from a nearby well. On a rainy afternoon, dozens of mothers waited under a leaky roof to get themselves and their babies tested for malaria. Many had walked for hours on dirt paths to reach the clinic. The motorcycle ambulance, meanwhile, sat idle. There was no fuel for it.