The United States of America’s Defence Department has donated personal protective equipment (PPEs) to Nigerian Armed Forces for the fight against COVID-19.
This was made known in a statement by Kabir Isa, on behalf of the Director of Information of the Federal Ministry of Defence on Monday.
According to the statement, the donations were received by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Babangida Hussaini.
Speaking at the ceremony in Abuja, the permanent secretary stated that the long lasting relationship between Nigeria and the United States has remained beneficial to the Nigerian Armed Forces on health and allied matters.
He said the Nigerian military has achieved some remarkable records in prevention, care and treatment of HIV, Ebola, Lassa Fever, and recently the containment of COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr Hussaini who received the items on behalf of the Minister of Defence, Bashir Magashi, noted that the collaboration has grown to include research and several interventions that provide a source of livelihood through job creation for healthcare workers and professionals allied to healthcare delivery.
“The Defence Referral Laboratory, which was recently re-accredited with state-of–the-art diagnostic equipment was established with the support of the US government and this has greatly enhanced the capacity of our personnel leading to ground breaking research studies,” he said.
He further explained that outcomes of the research have been utilised to upscale the prevention and management of infectious diseases especially at the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“There is no gainsaying the fact that this donation would further enhance the ability of our frontline medical staff in the fight to curtail the Covid-19 and to ensure that staff go about their duties with minimal risk of being exposed to harmful infectious agents.”
He assured that the equipment would be appropriately deployed to relevant military facilities without delay or hindrance.
Speaking separately, the United States Charge d’Affaires, Nigeria, Kathleen Fitzgibbon, while presenting the items, said the relationship between the United States and Nigeria has remained community-oriented adding that the U.S. would continue to support the government and people of Nigeria for a better world.
The Director-General, Defence Health Implementation Programme, Nathan Okeji, while welcoming the guests to the ceremony, commended the minister and the U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria for actualising their understanding.
The highlight of the event is the facility tour of the Nigerian Air Force hospital’s emergency COVID-19 treatment centre undertaken by the permanent secretary and other guests.