ECOWAS Hands Over Essential Medical Equipment to Nigeria for Covid-19 Response13 Jul, 2020
Abuja, 11th July, 2020. The ECOWAS Commission, through the West African Health Organisation (WAHO) has handed over essential medical equipment to the government of Nigeria as part of the regional response strategy to the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the active support of the German government through its Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the development agency-Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and well as bank- Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW), the collaborative effort delivered 12,800 goggles, 294,000 small, medium and large gloves, 23,220 small, medium and large gowns, 8,190 coverall and 1,600 face shields.
Pledging firm commitment of the regional community to the fight against Covid-19, the President of the ECOWAS Commission H.E Jean-Claude Kassi Brou expressed the appreciation of ECOWAS to all the partners in the fight against COVID-19, which has enabled a measure of progress to be made.
President Brou particularly thanked the president of Nigeria and regional champion on COVID-19 H.E Muhammadu Buhari for the leadership and support provided including logistics back up to aid the distribution of the items to other ECOWAS Member States.
In his welcome address, the Director-General of WAHO Professor Stanley Okolo stated that the handover of the critical medical equipment is part of the larger efforts at flattening the COVID-19 curve. He noted further that as the collaboration of partners for a common goal is yielding desired fruits, it has become even more imperative for the populations to get into the habit of behavioural change adjustments.
Also speaking, the coordinator, GIZ-ECOWAS cluster and representative of the German government Mr. Ludwig Kirchner lauded the GIZ-WAHO partnership on infectious diseases which started in 2016. He maintained that the mobilisation of finances and technical assistance in the face of cooperation in the area of equipment procurement, will be of benefit to the ECOWAS region, seeing that the cases of COVID-19 in the area had risen to 90,000.
In his remarks, Nigeria’s minister of Health Dr. Osagie Ehanire maintained that the public health institution of the Nigerian Ministry of Health, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) as well as the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 were set up to lead the whole of government response strategy and determine non-pharmaceutical measures to ensure the safety of citizens.
He stressed that the country’s health workers who are toiling assiduously to treat COVID-19 patients, provide emergency care, while not losing sight of routine and essential health services needed the support and encouragement of all.
The Director-General of the Nigerian NCDC, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, the coordinator of the Presidential Task Force for Nigeria Dr. Sani Aliyu as well as the Permanent Secretary, Office of the Secretary to the Government of Nigeria Mr. Olusegun Adekunle all corroborated Minister Ehanire in calling for concerted efforts in the fight against COVID-19.
Besides the funders of the medical donation, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is also collaborating with WAHO in the area of procurement.