The United Nations Development Programme says it is committed to supporting and working with the Federal Government to strengthen national capacities to cope with increasing cases of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Country Representative of UNDP, Mr. Mohammed Yahaya, made the commitment in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Thursday in Abuja.
Yahaya spoke on the sideline of the handing over of the first consignment of COVID-19 critical medical supplies procured by the West Africa Health Organisation for the benefit of ECOWAS Member States.
Nigeria’s share of 13.6 per cent was handed over to the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.
The items include personal protective equipment (PPE) and equipment for Intensive Care Units (ICUs) such as oxygen compressors.
The country representative said that as the second wave of the pandemic rages on, the UNDP was privileged to offer logistical support to ECOWAS for the procurement and delivery of the medical supplies.
He said that these supplies would aid in the effective management of COVID-19 cases by enhancing the capacity of frontline responders providing care and treatment to those impacted by the virus as well as strengthening national capabilities for testing and early detection.
He said that the medical supplies were delivered as part of the international community’s support for the country’s response to the second wave of COVID-19 infections.
“It is no longer news that the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a global health crisis which has greatly disrupted life as we knew it.
“Nigeria has not been spared from the negative health and socio-economic impacts of the pandemic.
“With sustained community transmission, the outbreak is exacting a heavy toll on the country’s fragile health system.
“Far from being just a health crisis, COVID-19 has also simultaneously activated and intensified multiple crises across the country.
“The adverse effects of the pandemic on Nigeria calls for concerted action to mitigate its health and socio-economic implications.
“It is in this context that the international community has rallied together to support Nigeria in several ways, including leveraging its networks to procure difficult-to-access essential medical equipment such as PPE’s, test kits, ventilators and autoclaves,’’ Yahaya told NAN.
He noted that the country’s pandemic response strategy had been commendable, urging the government to consolidate on the gains made.
He advised government representatives to ensure fair, equitable and timely distribution of the materials.
NAN reports that the current consignment of goods included a large donation of critical medical materials from UNDP and the second tranche of goods procured by GIZ with funds from the German Government and the European Union.