The Federal Government has finally received 200 ventilators promised by the United States Government to support Nigeria’s fight against coronavirus.
In April 2020, US President, Donald Trump had in a telephone conversation with President Muhammadu Buhari, pledged to support Nigeria’s response to COVID-19 by sending ventilators.
The 200 ventilators finally got to Nigeria on Tuesday, August 11, 2020, five months after the US president made the promise.
While receiving the ventilators from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in Abuja, the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, expressed gratitude to President Trump and US government for the ventilators.
“We shall use the ventilators to shore up our Intensive Care response capability, courtesy of President Donald Trump, and people of the United States of America,” he said.
“These 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 Trump and the U.S. government for the generous consideration and friendly gesture.
“We particularly appreciate that this gift comes against the backdrop that the U.S. is also fighting its own fierce battle against the COVID-19 plague.”
Ehanire also commended USAID and the US Ambassador to Nigeria Mary Beth Leonard, for their interest and engagement in Nigeria.
The minister called on the U.S. to lend its full weight to global efforts to find efficacious therapeutics and vaccines to neutralise 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-19 to any one part of the world is a threat to all,” he added.
In her remarks, the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, assured Nigerians that the 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 the ventilators across each of Nigeria’s states and the FCT.
Leonard commended Nigeria’s efforts in taking early action to combat the spread of Covid-19, and also reiterated America’s commitment to working with the country to implement effective disease surveillance efforts.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Government had warned that coronavirus patients who need ventilators might not survive the disease.
The government stated this while highlighting the importance of prevention against the disease, especially for the elderly and other at high risk of contracting COVID-19.