November 28, 2023
COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. By the end of 2022, over 720 million cases of COVID-19 have been reported and 7.7 million people have died. The high infection and hospitalization rates from the virus have exposed the fragility of health systems worldwide, especially in low- and middle-income countries. While every region experienced different waves, almost every health system and health worker were strained to their limits during the pandemic. CHAI has supported our partner countries to prevent, test, and treat COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic.
CHAI supports partner countries to prevent, test, and treat COVID-19. Despite global investments to scale up access to COVID-19 testing and vaccination in 2021, high risk groups such people above the age of 50, diabetics, pregnant women, and immunosuppressed populations, including those living with HIV, are still at elevated risk of hospitalization and death from COVID-19 complications.
In 2022, we partnered with ministries of health in low- and middle-income countries to rapidly introduce and scale access to newly developed, highly effective COVID-19 oral antiviral therapies. With support from The Open Society Foundations, Pfizer, Hilton Family Foundation, Unitaid, and Global Fund, CHAI together with Duke University and COVID Collaborative have supported 14 countries on the introduction of oral antivirals to reduce the risk of hospitalization and death in high-risk groups. The pandemic also exposed significant shortages in key respiratory diagnostics and care equipment —including oxygen cylinders, pulse oximeters, concentrators, masks, ventilators, pressure swing adsorption (PSA) plants, and hospital piping—which predate COVID-19 . We are working with partner governments to forecast and quantify oxygen needs, improve oxygen supply systems, rapidly procure medical oxygen equipment, and expand liquid oxygen services for COVID-19 response and routine services.
affordable high-quality COVID-19 rapid antigen tests for low- and middle-income countries
suppliers of quality assured PPE identified for partner countries’ needs
countries adopted a CHAI-led on-demand COVID-19 WhatsApp information service
Investing in oxygen to respond to COVID-19 now – and build stronger delivery systems in the future
Increasing medical oxygen availability in partner countries