NIGERIA has received 200 ventilators donated by the U.S. government in fulfilment of its promise to help Nigeria in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
The U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, who made the presentation in Abuja on Tuesday, disclosed that the items were in fulfillment of a promise by U.S. president, Donald Trump to President Muhammadu Buhari to assist Nigeria fight the pandemic.
Leonard noted: “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.
“The United States Agency for International Development (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 the states and the FCT.
“The U.S. 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 lauded Nigeria’s effort in taking early action to combat and mitigate the spread of the virus and said, “I hope to see Nigeria continue this trajectory as an example for other nations to follow.”
The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, said the ventilators were valuable equipment to support Nigeria in the fight against COVID-19 and boost Nigeria’s intensive care response capability.
He said, “I believe the people of Nigeria are reassured by the arrival of these ventilators to facilitate critical care aspects of treatment.
“We appreciate that this gift comes against the backdrop that the United States is also fighting its own battle against the COVID-19 plague.“
The Director-General of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu said the more the ventilators, the more chances for people to survive COVID-19.
The DG was represented by the agency’s Director of Lab Services, Mrs Nwando Mba, who said most of the COVID-19-related deaths were a result of respiratory complications, underscored the benefits of the additional ventilators.