The United States of America has made good its pledge of donating 200 ventilators to assist Nigeria combat the Covid-19 pandemic.
This is in addition to over $54 million the US says it had spent in helping tackle the virus and its effects on Nigeria.
The 200 brand new, leading edge ventilators were handed over to the government of Nigeria, in Abuja, on Tuesday, the U.S Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard.
Leonard disclosed that in collaboration with USAID and the Presidential Task Force, the Federal Ministry of Health would coordinate the expedient delivery, transportation and placement of the ventilators in Covid-19 treatment centres and intensive care units across the country.
According to her: “This donation, and the many other health and humanitarian assistance programs offered from the American people over the years, is just one component of the strong cooperation between our two governments.
“I laud Nigeria’s efforts in taking early action to mitigate the spread of Covid-19. I hope to see Nigeria continue this trajectory, as an example for other African nations to follow.”
She explained that the ventilators are compact, deployable, and that they would provide Nigeria with flexibility in treating Covid-19 patients.
USAID is also funding a support package that includes accompanying equipment, medical supplies, technical assistance, and service plans.
Speaking on behalf of the government of Nigeria, the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, applauded the U.S government for the support and further urged it “to lend it’s full weight to global efforts to find efficacious therapeutics and vaccines to neutralize the threat of Covid-19 to the global community and to guarantee fair allocation to all countries and people.”
Ehanire further explained that “this donation consists of 200 ventilators, which, as we all know by now, are a critical component of the response strategy to save the lives of persons who have been severely impacted by this viral infection.
“They will certainly be of great benefit to the people of Nigeria and I wish to convey the appreciation of His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and of the government of Nigeria, to President Donald Trump and the United States Government for the generous consideration and friendly gesture.
“We particularly appreciate that this gift comes against the backdrop that the United States is also fighting its own fierce battle against the Covid-19 plague. We wish them the very best in this challenge.”
While explaining the efforts made by the Federal Government to halt the spread of the disease in the country, Ehanire said that “the Federal Ministry of Health, and its public health agency, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), have focused on providing guidance to tackle the challenges.
“Our health workers have been trained and equipped and are doing the needful to attend to Covid-19 patients and give emergency care, while not losing sight of routine and essential health services.
“I believe they, and the people of Nigeria, are encouraged and reassured, by the arrival of these ventilators to facilitate critical care aspects of treatment.”