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World Health Organization (WHO) has donated 26 ventilators and 3560 fingertip oxygen pulse oximeters to support Nigeria in being better prepared for the COVID-19 third wave, currently driven by the Delta variant.
Handing over the equipment to government through the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire on 05 August in Abuja, the WHO Country Representative (WR), Dr Walter Kazadi Mulombo indicated that the donation is in solidarity with the Government of Nigeria on the country’s ongoing response to Covid-19 pandemic.
“Nigeria has performed relatively well in terms of timely containing each of the last two waves and maintaining a national case fatality rate of 1.3%, a level that is almost half the regional average. With the third wave now upon the country, the expectations from all is not any less.
It is against this backdrop we wish to demonstrate our continued support of the Federal Ministry of Health’s efforts of in further strengthening the country’s capacity in case management. This is in addition our ongoing support across all pillars of the country’s COVID-19 response to at Federal and State level”.
Nigeria has passed through the stages of having of sporadic cases, clusters of cases and community transmission since the index case was reported in 2020. As of the beginning of August 2021, about 15 months into the outbreak, Nigeria reached 175,264 confirmed cases, the majority (over 94%) of whom had been successfully treated and discharged. Unfortunately, 2,163 died
With the COVID-19 outbreak reaching a stage with increasing numbers in the country, the donation is timely for treatment of critical cases.
Receiving the equipment, the Minister of Health expressed government’s gratitude to WHO; “We recognize and thank WHO for the support we have always been receiving, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic.” He further mentioned that, “We thank and appreciate this additional effort to guard the third wave of the pandemic. We will ensure a fair and equitable distribution of these materials to make sure they are taken where they are needed.” He underscored that WHO’s technical experts have supported the government in its covid-19 response. The minister further singled out the WR’s stewardship, especially through the Presidential Task Force and the Presidential Steering Committee in Nigeria’s COVID-19 response, as exemplary.
The donation of the ventilator and oximeters, made possible through WHO’s emergency resources at global level, is an important step in the fight against COVID as the country intensify efforts to battle the current third wave of infections.
A ventilator supports or takes over the breathing process, pumping air into lungs of a person who is not able to breath for himself/herself. People with severe COVID-19 symptoms including difficulty in breathing and those admitted in intensive care units (ICU) may become highly dependent on ventilators hence the need for sufficient ventilators in the country. An oximeter is a tiny device that usually slides over the fingertip or clips on the ear lobe and uses infrared light refraction to measure how well oxygen is binding to the red blood cells.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of World Health Organization (WHO) – Nigeria.