From Charity Nwakaudu, Abuja
The Economic Community of West African States(ECOWAS) through the office of the West African Health Organization (WAHO) has distributed COVID-19 response materials worth more than $18M to fifteen (15) African countries, Nigeria receiving the highest with 13.6 percent.
Director General WAHO Prof Stanley Okoli while speaking at the official handing over of the critical medical equipment for COVID-19 response, in Abuja, yesterday warned Nigerians not to be distracted from keeping the safety protocols due to the arrival of the vaccines and other medical equipment.
Prof Okolo commended the role of the Federal Ministry of Health in collaboration with the National Center for Disease Control (NCDC) in the provision of prevention surveillance and response activities using one health approach by a skilled workforce.
He said:”It is within this framework that the West African Health Organization (WAHO)as the ECOWAS regional institute for health with support of partners such as the German government through the federal ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development BMZ in Cooperation with the European Union to the ECOWAS region, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)provides the much needed critical equipment and medical supplies of laboratory diagnostic test, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE’s) oxygen compressors to Nigeria government.”
Okolo, therefore, appreciated the administration of president Muhammadu Buhari in its contribution and provision of facilities to make sure that materials are adequately distributed to member states.
President ECOWAS Commission Jean Claude Kasai Brou who spoke through his Commissioner for Finance Halima Ahmed said Nigeria is the first to receive the critical medical equipment with the highest percentage based on its population and others factors that were considered.
Chair of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha who was represented by the Minister of Environment, Mahmood Abubakar while receiving the equipment reinstated the nation’s commitment in the war against the pandemic” I want to reassure you of the continuing commitment of the ECOWAS Covid-19 Champion, President Muhammadu Buhari of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to supporting the regional COVID-19 response through the provision of logistics to WAHO for the warehousing and distribution of these goods to Member States”.