United States and Senegal bolster private sector in COVID-19 fight
The United States continues to work closely with the Government of Senegal to ensure a comprehensive COVID-19 response fostering both public and private sector involvement. The U.S. Agency for International Development recently donated nearly $100,000 (55 million FCFA) worth of materials to support Senegal’s fight against COVID-19, including masks, gloves, and other essential protective equipment, as well as antiseptic products. This donation, specifically destined for 250 private sector service delivery points, is being distributed in partnership with the Ministry of Health and the Private Health Sector Alliance, or ASPS (Alliance du Secteur Privé de la Santé).
To date, most external support for the COVID-19 response has been directed to the public sector, although many patients first seek care in private facilities. This donation helps bridge that gap by ensuring that private suppliers are equipped to quickly meet patient needs and slow the spread of the virus.
The highest concentration of private health facilities are found in urban areas, which are also major hotspots for COVID-19 cases in Senegal. USAID’s donation will strengthen the private sector’s engagement in the COVID-19 response in Dakar, Thies, Diourbel and Ziguinchor by supplying them with materials they need to carry out their work. The donation contributes to USAID’s wider efforts to improve access to quality care in both public and private facilities across the country.
USAID partner SHOPS Plus is currently coordinating the donation distribution. Since 2016, SHOPS Plus has capitalized on the potential of the private health sector to boost health outcomes in Senegal by facilitating public-private partnerships in close collaboration with health authorities. With USAID support, SHOPS Plus has also contributed to Senegal’s COVID-19 response by supporting risk communication and community engagement, case investigation, case management, infection prevention and control, and general response operations.
Since the outbreak, USAID has provided an additional $3.9 million (2.2 billion FCFA) in new financial support for the health sector and redirected more than $2 million (1.1 billion FCFA) from other development sectors and health activities to respond to the coronavirus.
For decades, the United States has been the world’s largest contributor to global health security and humanitarian assistance, putting countries like Senegal in a better position to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the past 20 years in Senegal alone, the United States has invested more than $2.8 billion (1.6 trillion FCFA), including nearly $880 million (500 billion FCFA) in health assistance.