The United States Government, has donated 200 brand-new leading edge ventilators to the Federal Government.
The United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, said the donation was in fulfillment of the promise from the United States President Donald Trump to President Muhammadu Buhari.
Receiving the ventilators on behalf of the Federal Government, the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, said the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), acting on behalf of the United States Government, invited him to receive the ventilators on behalf of the Government of Nigeria.
Ehanire said the ventilators were valuable equipment to support Nigeria in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ehanire also said the delivery of the medical ventilators, courtesy of the President and people of the United States of America,
will shore up Nigeria’s intensive care response capability.
“This donation consists of 200 ventilators, which, as we all know by now, are a critical component of the response strategy to save the lives of persons who have been severely impacted by this viral infection. They will certainly be of great benefit to the people of Nigeria and I wish to convey the appreciation of His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and of the government of Nigeria, to President Donald Trump and the United States Government for the generous consideration and friendly gesture. We particularly appreciate that this gift comes against the backdrop that the United States is also fighting its own fierce battle against the COVID-19 plague. We wish them the very best in this challenge,” Ehanire said.
Ehanire further said the nation witnessed the severity of the impact of COVID-19 outbreak on health systems, economy and social structure of all nations, especially on low and lower middle income countries of the world.
Ehanire added that since the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Lagos on February 27, 2020, life has also drastically changed for Nigerians.
“We have worked hard to cope and, where necessary, adjust to the changes. The Federal Ministry of Health, and its public health Agency, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), have focused on providing guidance to tackle the challenges. Our health workers have been trained and equipped and are doing the needful to attend to COVID-19 patients and give emergency care, while not losing sight of routine and essential health services. I believe they, and the people of Nigeria, are encouraged and reassured by the arrival of these ventilators to facilitate critical care aspects of treatment.
“I wish to also commend the United States Agency for International Development, the USCDC and the US Ambassador to Nigeria – Her Excellency Mary Beth Leonard, for their interest and engagement in Nigeria, even beyond the advent of COVID-19. Her Excellency has demonstrated personal concern by paying a solidarity visit to the Federal Ministry of Health,” Ehanire added.
Ehanire however called on the United States Government to lend its full weight to global efforts to find efficacious therapeutics and vaccines to neutralize the threat of COVID-19 to the global community and to guarantee fair allocation to all countries and people.
“The speed and ease with which COVID-19 has spread across the globe clearly shows that it is a threat to mankind. Without the full collaboration of all nations, the threat of covid to any one part of the world is a threat to all,” Ehanire also said.
In her remarks, Leonard said the 200 ventilators being transferred to the Federal Government were compact and portable, and can be easily mobilised to reach patients with the most severe symptoms of COVID-19.
Leonard added that the arrival of the ventilators fulfilled the commitment discussed between Presidents Trump and Buhari earlier in the year.
“Our support includes training on the use and maintenance of this equipment, ensuring that the ventilators can address other respiratory illnesses in the years beyond the virus. USAID will work very closely and energetically over the next couple of weeks with the Ministry of Health and the Presidential Task Force to bring these ventilators across each of Nigeria’s states and the FCT.
“In fighting the COVID pandemic, it is critically important that doctors have adequate access to medical oxygen, as these ventilators depend on a reliable supply to be effective in treating patients with severe symptoms.
“The United States has been pivotal in supporting Nigeria’s membership in the ‘Every Breath Counts’ Coalition. Nigeria is now one of just two countries in Africa to have an “oxygen roadmap” that seeks to fight against pneumonia, hypoxemia, and now COVID-19,” Leonard said.
The United States Ambassador lauded Nigeria’s effort in combating the virus, saying that “while the world continued to face unprecedented challenges as a result of COVID-19, I would like to laud Nigeria’s efforts in taking early action to combat and mitigate its spread.”
“I hope to see Nigeria continue this trajectory as an example for other nations to follow.
As the U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, I remain proud of the strong friendship between our two countries. Working together in partnership with this country’s government and its citizens, the American people are committed to working with Nigeria to implement effective disease surveillance efforts and to improve its capacity to safely isolate and treat confirmed cases as we look ahead to a virus-free Nigeria,” Leonard also said.