THE Save the Children International (SCI) Nigeria on Tuesday made a donation of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) and Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) materials worth N50million to support the COVID-19 response to the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) and Lagos State government.
The humanitarian organisation said the donations would help address the immediate needs of front-line health workers who are providing care and treatment to people affected by the virus, either suspected, probable or confirmed cases.
Making the presentation of the items that were conveyed in two trucks to Abuja Central Medical Stores (ACMS), Utako, Nwamaka Ifionu, Deputy Director of Operations at SCI explained that since Nigeria recorded its index case, the organisation has worked with the Nigerian government to respond to the pandemic as a member of the COVID-19 Response Task Force at both Federal and several state levels and supporting the development and deployment of strategies to contain the spread of the disease.
“We hope that our donation can help in its way to break the spread of the virus and give resources to the front line workers to help protect the most vulnerable, especially the children,” Ifionu said.
The materials were received by Samson Eriba, Deputy Director at the FCTA Health and Human Services Secretariat who assured that the administration would judiciously deploy the items in combating the pandemic.
A similar presentation had taken place in Lagos too.
The items included protective gowns, eye goggles, facemasks, gloves and other vital health supplies.
A statement by Save the Children disclosed that the donation was made possible through the support of Femi Otedola through Cuppy Foundations.
Mercy Gichuhi, Interim Country Director of Save the Children International in Nigeria reiterated that the donation would enhance the government’s capacity towards containing the spread of the virus, and helps to sustain the ongoing health care response to patients already infected by the disease.
She explained that it was the responsibility of the charity organisation to protect vulnerable children and their families from the novel virus, noting that “we need to support our government partners who are at the front line in coronavirus response.”
“During infectious disease outbreaks, children face multi-dimensional risks, including exposure to the infection, indirect risks to accessing education and healthcare services; while the government’s priorities are focused on minimising contamination, and direct risks to their overall care and protection,” Gichuhi added.
DJ Cuppy on her part said, “the most vulnerable Nigerian children and their families are bearing the biggest burden of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
She stated that all stakeholders must ensure that children are protected from catching this deadly virus especially children who are malnourished or suffering from diseases like pneumonia that is the biggest killer of children.
“I am glad to see that many Nigerians are offering their support. Together with my family and The Cuppy Foundation, I am working with the government and Save the Children to provide materials urgently needed to fight the coronavirus. I reaffirm my commitment to the children of Nigeria because no one is safe until we are all safe.”
Taiye Babarinsa, Deputy Director Humanitarian Operations, Save the Children International Nigeria, said, “the organisation’s cash transfer, food voucher, and water provision programs continue across selected states with additional hygiene dignity kits shared to vulnerable families to accelerate cleanliness and sanitation actions in response to the pandemic.
He expressed hope that the innovative community sensitisation programs would help in making a positive shift in knowledge, attitude and practice across different locations in Nigeria and slow down the spread of the disease.
Save the Children International Nigeria called upon international donors, national and state governments to scale up investment in healthcare systems strengthening to allow the country to efficiently respond to the pandemic without compromising other health services, such as routine immunisation, and intensify public awareness-raising campaigns within communities to stop the spread of the infection.
It emphasised that prevention information, testing facilities and referral systems should be made available and accessible to the most vulnerable people, including children, people with disabilities, refugees and internally displaced people.