The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) donated laboratory supplies, genomic surveillance reagents, computers, and personal protective equipment to Costa Rica. This donation is part of the U.S. Global Response and Recovery Framework for COVID-19, Costa Rica project.
In addition to these resources, freezers, refrigerators, thermometers, and coolers have been added to strengthen the cold chain for vaccination against COVID-19 and to respond to the health problems that have become relevant during the pandemic.
As part of the project, community surveillance processes are being carried out with emphasis on promotion and prevention in 10 cantons: Los Chiles, Upala, La Cruz, San Carlos, Sarapiqui, Pococí, Talamanca, León Cortés, Coto Brus, and Corredores.
In these communities, local work teams have been created. They have developed work plans to prevent COVID-19 infections, increase vaccination rates, and promote integral health, especially in areas that have become relevant during the pandemic, such as mental health and chronic non-communicable diseases.
The total financial support for this project is US$1 million, which is distributed in donations of equipment, supplies, training, and other resources for the Ministry of Health, the Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS), and the Costa Rican Institute for Nutrition and Health Research and Education (INCIENSA), as well as the ten cantons mentioned above.
INCIENSA also received a donation of laboratory supplies and reagents, as well as computer equipment, bioinformatics credits, and technical training in bioinformatics to strengthen genomic surveillance in Costa Rica.
With this donation, the institution’s Genomics and Molecular Biology Laboratory will be able to monitor the behavior of the virus’s variants, lineages, and sub-lineages circulating in the country, strengthening the capacities to generate timely information and evaluate the genetic changes of SARS-CoV-2 in the national territory.
Funding for this initiative is complemented by the donations of the COVID-19 vaccine that the U.S. government has made to Costa Rica. In total, 1,500,800 doses have been donated by the Biden-Harris Administration.
“The U.S. government supports Costa Rica in our shared fight against Covid-19. President Biden is convinced that no country can stop this pandemic by acting alone. We need to strengthen the international health security architecture to prevent, detect and respond to the threats of this pandemic. The donations made through PAHO/WHO under this initiative, funded by the American Rescue Plan, are a vital step to increase Costa Rica’s Covid-19 testing capacity and cold storage infrastructure,” said Ambassador Cynthia Telles.
Dr. Alexei Carrillo, Vice Minister of Health, expressed gratitude for the donations made through PAHO/WHO.
“The support from the United States has been significant, strengthening the ties between nations. The prevention of emerging diseases has characterized Costa Rica; together with the high quality of professionals and the valuable collaboration of friendly countries, we have achieved our objective,” he concluded.