NIGERIA has taken delivery of 50 A30 ventilators from the United Nations (UN) as part of the ongoing assistance the country is receiving from the international community as it combats the global coronavirus pandemic.
Although the virus is nowhere as savage in Nigeria as it is in most of say Europe and North America, the government has introduced several preventative measure to combat its spread. There is a total lockdown in Lagos and Ogun states and the Federal Capital Territory and isolation centres have been opened in most states, while social distancing laws have also been introduced.
Given that Nigeria does not produce medical equipment locally, the United Nations has decided to step in to assist and yesterday, a plane with ventilators and other supplies landed at the Abuja airport. Hadi Sirika, Nigeria’s aviation minister received the goods on behalf of the government along with some other members of the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
UN resident coordinator for Nigeria, Edward Kallon, said the supplies were procured with funds from the recently inaugurated Covid-19 Basket Fund, including $2m mobilised within the UN system in Nigeria and a $200,000 contribution from APM Terminals. He added that the supplies would be deployed across the country to health facilities based on needs and coordination structures already in place between the government and the UN.
Mr Kallon said the next shipment of personal protective equipment are expected to arrive in Nigeria later this month. He added: “The world is in the midst of an unprecedented crisis.
“The spread of the Covid-19 is expected to put immense pressure on Nigeria’s healthcare system. The UN in Nigeria is actively mobilising resources in support of the government’s national response strategy of containing the pandemic and adequately caring for those confirmed to have the virus.”