The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) through the West African Health Organisation (WAHO) has started the distribution of its second consigment of Covid-19 medical supplies as part of regional response to the pandemic to Member States starting with the Nigerian government.
The consignment consist of PPEs, Covid-19 test kits, consumables and other medical equipments. These items were donated by UNDP, GIZ and the European Union (EU).
Speaking at the handover ceremony in Abuja, the Director-General of WAHO, Prof. Stanley Okolo, said the donation was part of the organisation’s mandate to support ECOWAS States in their national health response.
Mr Okolo noted that the medical supplies worth over U$18 million will be distributed to 15 West Africa countries including Nigeria.
He said the supplies will support countries in the fight against the Covid-19 virus even as Nigeria has received the first batch of the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines.
“The provision of critical medical supplies to aid the fight against the pandemic is one of the contributions we make towards achieving the regional health agenda at WAHO” he said.
“We at WAHO have set up ourselves to support both strategically and operationally. Vaccines are now beginning to arrive, and that in itself is a very good thing”.
He noted that WAHO has over half a million diagnostic test kits to be distributed. Some of the distributed supplies include Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), oxygen tube, extension, PCR tubes, and Oxygen concentrator flow splitter.
Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, President of the ECOWAS Commission, represented by the ECOWAS Commissioner for Finance, Halima Ahmed under-scored the importance of the medical supplies to the fight against the pandemic.
She therefore stressed the urgent need to strengthen regional and national capacities to respond to the health emergencies such as COVID-19 pandemic.
Ahmed commended the effort of the Ni-gerian government for the protection of all Nigerians through evidence-based prevention and integrated disease surveillance.
European Union, Head of Cooperation European Union (EU) Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Mrs. Cécile Tassin-Pelzer said, “As part of a rolling programme of procurement to support the on-going response to Covid-19 and strengthen the health systems in the region, the consignments handed over today contain critical personal protective equipment (PPE) consisting of aprons, gloves and boots which will be used by the health care workers involved in response activities and patient care”.