The Federal Government has received 23 ventilators worth $1 million donated by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which it said will help combat the debilitating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
Receiving the equipment during a brief ceremony at the Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Abuja yesterday, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health, Abdulaziz Abdullahi, expressed delight, even as he informed that this was the first batch as more equipment would be delivered to Nigeria in July.
The Saudi Government through the Embassy said “Today, we are witnessing the handover of medical equipment worth One Million Dollars, donated by the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in order to combat the ramifications of the COVID-19 epidemic. This includes twenty-three ventilators, which are a key component in dealing with COVID-19.”
The Saudi Government had said earlier said that the donation was part of the amount of five hundred million dollars to support the international efforts in combating the COVID-19 epidemic and on that basis, the Kingdom has earmarked the donation of twenty-four million dollars as aid in kind to 26 countries.
The Saudi Government, through the Deputy Ambassador to Nigeria, Ibrahim Alghamedi, announced the donation in April, stressing that it was part of its efforts to strengthen bilateral ties with Nigeria and help to mitigate the impacts of the pandemic at the international level.
Some other equipment covered by the donation, which will be delivered to Nigeria on July 1st include; 25,000 Surgical Sterile Gown; 125,000 Non-Sterile Surgical Gown; 188,000 Masks(KN95); 1,606,700 Surgical Masks and 9,500 Nitrile Gloves.
The Royal Embassy noted that this is not the first time the Kingdom has contributed to the health sector in Nigeria. The Kingdom, through the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre, and in collaboration with A-Basar International Foundation, launched a voluntary Medical Campaign for Combating Blindness and its Causes in Nigeria.
The Campaign was conducted in Ibadan, Oyo state, from 5-11 October, 2019, and in Lafia, Nasarawa State from 13-19 October 2019. About 8,000 patients suffering from cataract and glaucoma, in addition to other sight weaknesses and disorders, were diagnosed and treated; six hundred and ninety four surgeries were done and more than 1,000 medical glasses were distributed to patients.