50 ventilators and personal protective supplies procured by UN arrive in Nigeria to boost fight against COVID-19

A shipment of 50 ventilators and other essential medical supplies procured by the UN system in Nigeria to support the Government’s COVID-19 response arrived at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport on Wednesday, the UN said in a statement received by TODAY NEWS AFRICA in Washington D.C.

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The consignment (that is likely to be the first of several to come) includes 50 A30 ventilators and personal protective supplies procured with funds from the recently launched COVID-19 Basket Fund, including USD $2 million mobilised within the UN system in Nigeria and a USD $200,000 contribution from APM Terminals. The arrival of the medical equipment and supplies will be a boost to the Government’s efforts to provide an efficient and effective healthcare response for those affected by the virus. The supplies will be deployed around the country to health facilities in most need due to the outbreak, and coordination structures are already in place between the Government and the UN to ensure urgent deployment.

The next shipment of personal protective equipment (PPE) expected to arrive in Nigeria later this month.

“The world is in the midst of an unprecedented crisis. The spread of the COVID-19 is expected to put immense pressure on Nigeria’s healthcare system. The UN in Nigeria is actively mobilising resources in support of the Government’s national response strategy of containing the pandemic and adequately caring for those confirmed to have the virus.” said, Mr. Edward Kallon, United Nations Resident Coordinator for Nigeria. 

As of 13 April 2020, there were 343 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Nigeria, with 91 discharged and ten fatalities. Through the COVID-19 Basket Fund, the UN in Nigeria is supporting accelerated Government response to address the pandemic, prevent further spread of the virus and ensure optimum care for those affected by the coronavirus.

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The Hon. Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, was among those present to receive the consignment and noted that the arrival of the medical supplies and equipment procured through the UN in Nigeria would go a long way towards boosting the Government’s efforts to strengthen healthcare services and manage the pandemic.

“No one is immune to the COVID-19 pandemic. While the essential medical equipment and supplies will strengthen the Nigeria healthcare system to enable it to cope better with the threat of the pandemic, we all have a responsibility, as individuals, to adhere to recommended measures and support Government’s efforts to curb the spread of this virus. Together we will defeat this pandemic.” said, Mohammed A. Ahmed, Managing Director – APM Terminals Nigeria.

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The UN in Nigeria, through the COVID-19 Basket Fund, is supporting the Government of Nigeria with coordination, preparedness, response and risk communication through the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19 Response. The guiding principles of engagement for national authorities and partners to respond to the pandemic, based on lessons learned in the HIV response, are the following (i) One agreed National COVID-19 Multi-Sectoral Pandemic Response Plan; (ii) One COVID-19 National Coordinating Authority with a broad-based multi-sector mandate; (iii) One COVID-19  monitoring and evaluation system.

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