The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) has presented various items of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) as part of its contribution to mitigate the spread of coronavirus.
The Executive Secretary of NHIS, Prof. Mohammed Sambo, who made the presentation on Friday in Abuja, listed 125 infrared thermometers, 250 packs of face masks, 500 packs of hand gloves, 500 protective suits and 125 hand pumps among others.
According to him the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, had approached the Scheme and requested a supply of PPE to security agencies and they acted in line with the mandate of NHIS, which is to ensure access to health care for all Nigerians.”
He said, “the procurement of the equipment falls under our purview. It is important for NHIS to support the idea of PPE to organisations within its limited resources because health care personnel constitute an integral part of COVID-19 response.
“So we treated that request from the PTF as priority and with that and purchased the items for them.
“They are very important to COVID-19 response, apart from the virus, there are other health care problems that will continue to bedevil our society.
“If we lose sight of protecting our health workers, it will affect their service delivery on other diseases, that is why NHIS is stepping in to support.”
The Commandant General of NSCDC, Abdullahi Muhammadu, urged for more support from other government organisations.
Muhammadu said as an international body, NSCDC had the mandate for disaster management, both natural and man-made and “COVID-19 falls under disaster management and the role given to us by the PTF is to enforce guidelines to curb the spread of the pandemic.
“We have deployed over 9,500 officers across the country to enforce, implement and we have also deployed some corps to isolation centers.” According to him, the donation of PPE will boost the morale of the officers.
The National Coordinator of the PTF, Dr Sani Aliyu, said, “we know the challenges that security agencies face in the enforcement of the guidelines to stop the spread of COVID-19.
“We had to look at our budget and found out that we did not have enough to supply to all the agencies, we then approached different agencies of government to see how they can complement what we already have.
He assured of continuous support for the corps, saying, “this is just a set of PPE, if the pandemic continues; we will make arrangements to make sure that you have larger quantity,’’ he said.