PRESIDENT Donald Trump has offered to supply Nigeria with ventilators over the coming weeks as part of America’s support to assist the country as it grapples with the effect of the debilitating coronavirus pandemic.
By far the most affected country by the pandemic, the US has over 1m cases of affected people and apart from the health implications, the virus has also led to an economic collapse. Like the US, Nigeria is suffering from the effects of an economic lockdown but the country is also reeling from the effects of a reduction global trade, preventing it from buying medical equipment on the international market.
Unlike the US that can manufacture its medical equipment like ventilators locally, Nigeria has very little domestic manufacturing capacity. As a result, Nigeria is struggling to get hold of things like facemasks, ventilators, testing kits and other pieces of equipment needed to fight the pandemic.
In a telephone call to President Muhammadu Buhari, President Trump said the US stands in solidarity with Nigeria as she fights the pandemic and will do all she can to help. Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Nigeria’s information minister, said that during the conversation, President Buhari briefed the US president about the steps Nigeria is taking to curb the spread of the virus.
Alhaji Mohammed added: “President Muhammadu Buhari today had a phone conversation with President Donald Trump, at the request of the American president, centring on Nigeria’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic. President Buhari used the opportunity to brief the American president on the steps that Nigeria is taking to contain the spread of the disease.
“On his part, President Trump assured that the US stand in solidarity with Nigeria in this difficult time and promised to send ventilators to support the country in its fight against the pandemic. President Trump also extends his best regards to the people of Nigeria.”
It is not yet clear how many ventilators the US will supply Nigeria, however, or when they will be delivered. With most countries short of medical equipment supplies at the moment, there is very little to give away as local health authorities are snapping up whatever is available.