Nigeria on Thursday received its share of the second consignment of COVID-19 medical supplies procured by the West African Health Organisation (WAHO), for the benefit of all ECOWAS Member States.
Speaking at the handover ceremony in Abuja, the Director-General of WAHO, Stanley Okolo, said the donation was part of the organisation’s mandate to support ECOWAS countries in their national health response.
Mr Okolo noted that the medical supplies worth over $18 million will be distributed to 15 West Africa countries including Nigeria.
He said the supplies will support countries in the fight against the COVID-19 virus even as Nigeria has received the first batch of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines.
“The provision of critical medical supply to aid the fight against the pandemic is one of the contributions we make towards achieving the regional health agenda at WAHO,” he said.
“We at WAHO have set up ourselves to support both strategically and operationally. Vaccines are now beginning to arrive, and that in itself is a very good thing.”
He noted that WAHO has over half a million diagnostic test kits to be distributed to African countries.
Some of the distributed supplies include Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), oxygen tube, extension, PCR tubes, and Oxygen concentrator flow splitter.
Receiving the Items on behalf of the Nigerian government, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, said authorities will ensure the supplies are well distributed.
Represented by the Minister of Environment, Mahmoud Abubakar, Mr Mustapha said this was the second bulk of consignment the country had received from the organization towards its response to the pandemic.
He said that the health supplies will go a long way in containing the impact of COVID-19 related deaths in the country.
“Nigeria, like many other ECOWAS Member States, is currently experiencing a second wave of the pandemic which has seen the emergence of some other strains of the virus,” he said.
“This is in addition to the negative impact of the pandemic on our population’s mental well-being, non-pandemic health issues and socio-economic development.”
In his remarks, Minister of State for Health, Olorunnimbe Mamora, said the donation was coming at the right time.
“We appreciate 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,” Mr Mamora said.
He urged Nigerians to continue to adhere to all non-pharmaceutical measures put in place to limit the spread of the virus.
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