Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The United States Department of Defence (DoD), through the US Africa Command (AFRICOM), has donated Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) worth $144,000 to support COVID-19 prevention in military and civilian medical facilities in Lagos, Kano, Akwa-Ibom, and Cross River states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The US Mission in Nigeria in a statement issued yesterday by its Information Officer/Press Attache, Ms Jeanne Clark, said the PPE handover to the Nigerian military took place at the 063 Nigerian Air Force Hospital (NAFH) in Abuja.
It said the Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Defence, Mr. Babangida Hussaini, and the US Charge d’Affaires, Kathleen FitzGibbon, presided over the event.
It also recalled that the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ohanire, inaugurated the 063 NAFH as a COVID-19 treatment centre in June 2020.
The US noted that the Nigerian Ministry of Defence (NMOD) Health Implementation Programme (MODHIP) serves as the implementation arm of the NMOD COVID-19 response and has worked with the Armed Forces COVID-19 committee, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), the National TB and Leprosy Control Programme, and multiple US government agencies to support pandemic mitigation in Nigeria.
The US said NMOD, with support from the US DoD, has contributed to the national response by establishing 18 treatment sites and four COVID-19 sample collection sites, and training over 150 health personnel on COVID-19 case management and infection prevention and control.
The statement said: “The US DoD contribution is emblematic of the longstanding partnership between the U.S. and Nigerian militaries and is another component of the more than $57 million in support provided by the U.S. Government to the COVID-19 response in Nigeria.”
The statement quoted FitzGibbon to have said, “It is deeply satisfying for me to look back on the many ways we have worked together to improve the health, safety, and security of the Nigerian people. Maintaining the health and security of Nigerian citizens is of utmost importance, and the health of the military members is critical to maintaining the security of the country.”
“The Defence Reference Laboratory (DRL) in Abuja, co-staffed by NMOD and DoD, has also been actively involved in the COVID-19 efforts and is a key contributor to the national testing network. As of November 1, DRL has tested more than 7,500 COVID-19 samples, mostly from the FCT (NNPC) and Nasarawa, Enugu, and Imo States, though its coverage is open to all labs across Nigeria.”