The Federal Government on Friday received eight million dollar worth of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) and medical consumables from the United Nation’s Children Fund (UNICEF) in Nigeria.
The Federal Government (FG) took the delivery of thousands of goggles, masks, gloves, gowns, boots, waste bins, hand sanitisers, chlorine, and other commodities, at the Nigeria Center For Disease Control (NCDC) warehouse in Abuja.
Speaking at event, the Director-General of NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, said that the NCDC had been leading on public health response but in terms of health care provision.
“These are eight million dollars worth of PPE IPC materials.
“We have been working very closely with the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) since the beginning of the response, and with all the state governments in Nigeria.
“So, this will be the single largest donor provided IPC materials to the country.
“We will now carry out the distribution to all the Primary Health Centres (PHCs) with the NPHCDA.
“We want to make sure we continue to keep the numbers low in Nigeria, which is really what our target is.’’
The NCDC boss noted that the gesture was supported by health sector partners including GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, and UNICEF in Nigeria.
He said that PHCs were critical as they often served as the first point of contact for suspected cases of COVID-19, hence the need for them to be among the first to receive the PPEs.
Also, the Executive Director of NPHCDA, Dr Faisal Shuaib, said that health workers in PHCs continue to play important role in the response.
This is by supporting the detection of cases, educating members of the community about the risks of the virus as well as other health and social services.
“As part of Nigeria’s COVID-19 response, the FG continues to prioritise infection prevention and control (IPC) of healthcare workers through training, provision of information materials and protective equipment,” he said.
Shuaib said that the PPEs provided to health workers in PHCs were to ensure that they had the required resources to protect themselves and their patients from the risk of spread of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases.
“These will be distributed to selected PHCs across all 774 local government areas in Nigeria.
“The Federal Government of Nigeria remains grateful to its partners, especially Gavi the Vaccine Alliance and UNICEF for the collaboration in ensuring the protection of health workers,” he said.
The NPHCDA boss noted that the FG remained committed to ensuring the health and safety of all Nigerians.
“As the NPHCDA continues to scale up Nigeria’s COVID-19 vaccination coverage, health workers are reminded of the need to practice universal care precautions at all times.
“Additionally, we urge members of the public to adhere to COVID-19 measures.
“These include wearing of face masks properly, regular handwashing, avoiding large crowds, practising physical distancing of at least two metres and getting vaccinated, if eligible,’’ he advised.
Speaking earlier, the Representative of UNICEF in Nigeria, Dr Peter Hawkins, recognised the Presidential Steering Committee for its exemplary leadership in responding to the pandemic, from the side of the government.
“UNICEF has been helping the PSC, NCDC and NPHCDA with both equipment and support in terms of technical assistance.
“This particular consignment of PPEs, not only have we been procuring it on behalf of GAVI and the Government of Nigeria, but we will be distributing it to each one of the PHCs throughout the country,” he disclosed.
Hawkins added that the UNICEF would continue to support Nigeria with testing, while calling on Nigerian to take the opportunity and get vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus.
He urged Nigerians to take the precautionary measures recommended in the fight against the pandemic.