COVID-19: US supports Nigeria with over $54m to combat pandemic

…donates 200 ventilators

By Hassan Zaggi

Since the onset of the COVID-19, the United States (U.S) has provided Nigeria more than $54 million to enable it combat the pandemic.

It has also pledged to continue to support Nigeria’s prevention and response efforts, both now and in the future.

The U.S Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, disclosed this while officially handing over 200 brand new, leading edge ventilators to the government of Nigeria, in Abuja, on Tuesday.

The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, received the 200 ventilators on behalf of the federal government.

In collaboration with USAID and the Presidential Task Force, the Federal Ministry of Health, the U.S Ambassador said, “will coordinate the expedient delivery, transportation and placement of the ventilators in COVID-19 treatment centres and intensive care units across the country.”

According to her: “This donation, and the many other health and humanitarian assistance programs offered from the American people over the years, is just one component of the strong cooperation between our two governments.

“I laud Nigeria’s efforts in taking early action to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. I hope to see Nigeria continue this trajectory, as an example for other African nations to follow.”

Mary Beth Leonard explained that the ventilators are compact, deployable, and that they will provide Nigeria with flexibility in treating COVID-19 patients.

USAID is also funding a support package that includes accompanying equipment, medical supplies, technical assistance, and service plans.

Speaking on behalf of the government of Nigeria, the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, said that the ventilators will “shore up our Intensive Care response capability.”

He, however, applauded the U.S government for the support and further urged it “to lend it’s 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.”

Ehanire further explained that: “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.”

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