HMH'S Speech on the Occasion of the handing over of 200 Life saving ventilators from the good People of the United States to Nigeria, 11th August, 2020.
It is my pleasure to be here at our PREMIER MEDICAL WAREHOUSE, JABI – ABUJA, at the invitation of USAID, acting on behalf of the United States Government, to receive, on behalf of the Government of Nigeria, valuable equipment to support Nigeria in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. We shall be taking delivery of medical ventilators to shore up our Intensive Care response capability, courtesy of the President and people of the United States of America.
2. This donation consists of 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 Donald Trump and the United States Government for the generous consideration and friendly gesture. We particularly appreciate that this gift comes against the backdrop that the United States is also fighting its own fierce battle against the COVID-19 plague. We wish them the very best in this challenge.
3. Ladies and gentlemen, we have witnessed the severity of the impact of COVID-19 outbreak on health systems, economy and social structure of all nations, especially on Low and Lower middle Income countries of the world. Since the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Lagos, Nigeria on the 27th of February, life has also drastically changed for us. We have worked hard to cope and, where necessary, adjust to the changes. The Federal Ministry of Health, and its public health Agency, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), have focused on providing guidance to tackle the challenges. Our health workers have been trained and equipped and are doing the needful to attend to COVID-19 patients and give emergency care, while not losing sight of routine and essential health services. I believe they, and the people of Nigeria, are encouraged and reassured, by the arrival of these ventilators to facilitate critical care aspects of treatment.
4. The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 Response, is an inter-ministerial, whole-of-government entity, established to develop a common strategy and provide guidance that best protects the people of Nigeria across all fronts. Its activities include supporting medical response, regulating neighborhood security and social activities, managing movement and travel restrictions, overseeing environmental impact, promoting non-pharmaceutical measures and economic palliatives.
5. I wish to also commend the United States Agency for International Development, the USCDC and the US Ambassador to Nigeria – Her Excellency Mary Beth Leonard, for their interest and engagement in Nigeria, even beyond the advent of COVID-19. Her Excellency has demonstrated personal concern by paying a solidarity visit to the Federal Ministry of Health.
6. I conclude by requesting the United States Government to lend it's full weight to global efforts to find efficacious therapeutics and vaccines to neutralize 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 to any one part of the world is a threat to all.
7. I salute and recognize the presence of members of the media here today, and also appreciate their role in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. They are important partners in the messaging strategy, which helps to give the correct picture to citizens and combat fear and panic. We value this partnership and shall work to strengthen it.
Thank you for listening!