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COVID-19 third wave: WHO donates 26 ventilators to Nigeria

He said the donated items were for the management of patients in isolation and treatment facilities

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has donated ventilators and 3,560 fingertip oxygen pulse oximeters to Nigeria for COVID-19 response.

WHO’s Nigeria Country Representative, Dr Walter Kazadi Mulombo, handed over the equipment to the Federal Ministry of Health Thursday in Abuja.

He said the donated items were for the management of patients in isolation and treatment facilities as well as home-based patients’ monitoring.

He said, “We are sure this donation will complement the notable initiatives that the government of Nigeria is implementing, including with support from other partners, to address the identified gap in readiness for the third wave that is being driven by the delta variant, especially if it results in more cases requiring treatment than what was registered at the peak of the second wave.”

He said Nigeria performed relatively well in containing each of the last two waves and maintaining a national case fatality rate of 1.3%, a level that is half the regional average.

“With the 3rd 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 in further strengthening the country’s capacity in case management.

“This is in addition to our ongoing support across all pillars of the country’s COVID-19 response to at federal and state level,” he said.

Dr Mulombo enjoined all Nigerians to be mindful of discontinuing public health and social measures such as maintaining physical distance, avoiding crowded places and always observing hand hygiene.

“Relaxing them too early could see us losing some of the gains already achieved,” he added.

Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, thanked WHO for the donation, saying the organisation had been supporting the country from the outset of the pandemic through the provision of guidance,  capacity building and essential equipment among others.

He said the donated ventilators would not only help support Nigeria’s response to COVID-19 but also help provide essential care across health facilities beyond the pandemic.

He advised the director of foods and drugs to ensure equitable distribution of the ventilators and oximeters across the country.

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