Perpetua Egesimba, Lagos
In a bid to support the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has received the delivery of 115,800 COVID-19 test kits funded by IHS Nigeria, the Nigerian subsidiary of IHS Towers.
In a press release, the body stated that testing remains the mainstay of the response led by the Presidential Task Force and Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the first step towards diagnosing the infection.
According to Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, the Director-General, NCDC,: ‘Testing remains a core strategy of Nigeria’s response to COVID-19. “This is critical for understanding the burden of the disease on our population and targeting our response activities accordingly.’
He stated that the primary goal of the Nigerian Government is to control the spread of the virus.
The NCDC DG reiterated that the donation from IHS Nigeria through UNICEF will contribute to the national stockpile of test kits managed by NCDC, and support efforts of the growing network of accredited laboratories across the country for the testing of COVID-19.
‘We are grateful for the continued support from UNICEF, IHS Towers and other partners,’ he added.
IHS Towers has been a strong and continuing partner of UNICEF. At the onset of the coronavirus in Nigeria in late February, IHS Nigeria provided funding to UNICEF to urgently procure essential supplies and equipment with which UNICEF supported the Nigerian Government in its COVID-19 response.
Peter Hawkins, UNICEF Country Representative, said: ‘UNICEF is deeply appreciative of IHS Towers’ commitment to being a partner in UNICEF’s work in Nigeria.
‘Once more, IHS has shown great generosity in supporting UNICEF’s ongoing efforts to work closely with the Government of Nigeria in the fight against COVID-19. I am very delighted to receive this huge contribution from IHS Towers, the benefit of which will reach many more children and their families.’
Also speaking, Mohamad Darwish, Chief Executive Officer of IHS Nigeria, said the body is proud to have played an important role in supporting the Government and the communities where they operate to provide crucial tools needed to fight the pandemic.
‘We understand this virus is here to stay for the foreseeable future, but are confident that with our support, and that of our other private sector colleagues, we are helping to manage and mitigate the impact of the virus in our country.’
This recent support of essential tests makes IHS Towers the biggest private sector donor for UNICEF Nigeria’s emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic.