The West African Health Organization, WAHO and Economic Community West African States, ECOWAS have donated critical medical equipment to the federal government to fight the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
The items include ventilators, test kits, personal protective equipment (PPE’s) and face masks.
While receiving the medical equipment in Abuja, the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire said the donated products are critical supplies in the COVID-19 response strategy.
“We are witnesses to the enormous health, economic and social impact of the current COVID-19 pandemic, particularly on Low and Lower medium countries of the world. Since the 27th of February.”
“Our health workers are toiling assiduously to treat COVID-19 patients, provide emergency care, while not losing sight of routine and essential health services.”the minister said.
“They all need our support and encouragement and I believe that the provision of these test kits and personal protective equipment (PPE)will generate even more peace of mind to facilitate their work.“
Dr Ehanire also commended the choice of Abuja by ECOWAS and WAHO, as the central hub for receipt and distribution of regional supplies of medical products and equipment for the fight against COVID-19.
“It is a great indication of confidence and we shall play our role in providing support to our fellow member states in the ECOWAS sub region, to fight this disease outbreak, of which President Buhari was recently designated Champion of the COVID-19 response.”
Also speaking Director-General, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu,observed that the difference in the response to COVID-19 and the 2014 Ebola outbreak was increased collaboration across West African Health Institutions.
“We’re grateful for the medical supplies received and offer our commitment to account for each and every one of them, as we respond to this outbreak,” he noted.
On his part, Director-General, WAHO, Prof. Stanley Okoro, noted that the organisation had established a regional distribution hub during the pandemic, working with the agencies, the ECOWAS Regional Centre for Surveillance and Disease Control (ECOWAS- RCSDC).
“The current consignment is procured with funds from the German Government (BMZ through GIZ) and the German Development Bank (KFW) and supplemented by funds from ECOWAS Commission and WAHO.”he added.