The US Agency for International Development (USAID) is strongly committed to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, a disease caused by a novel coronavirus. The disease is a health threat with dire consequences to human health. The USAID MTaPS program is on the frontlines supporting USAID’s effort to contain the spread of COVID-19 in high-risk countries. 

MTaPS’ mandate includes advancing the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA), so the program is well positioned to respond to global public health emergencies such as the current outbreak.

MTaPS has formed a COVID-19 response team to assist countries in developing rapid response action plans to manage the outbreak. 

The program is rolling out COVID-19 action plans in 12 countries, including Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, the Philippines, and Tanzania. These are countries where MTaPS has an on-ground presence and access to local technical expertise, both of which are vital to mobilizing a quick response to contain the outbreak.

Rapid Response Strategies 

The program’s approach to responding to the pandemic includes two critical strategies:  

  • Implementing end-to-end infection prevention and control (IPC) measures in health facilities 
  • Strengthening commodity management to ensure a sustained supply of and access to commodities such as medicines, masks, and hygiene products

The program is drawing on the immediate threat prevention and preparedness strategies recommended by the World Health Organization and other global bodies. The approach also embeds existing national emergency preparedness and response plans and collaboration with national rapid response teams.  

Ongoing IPC Work and Outbreak Response 

MTaPS’ ongoing IPC activities position the program to meet more countries’ response needs as they arise. Currently, the program works in 11 countries to build their IPC capacity as part of its support to the GHSA to contain antimicrobial resistance, which is a growing threat to national and global health security.

COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedures