The private sector-led Coalition against COVID-19 (CACOVID) has donated to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control N1.4 billion worth of medical supplies and additional 26,400 test kits sufficient to set up six fully functional COVID-19 medical laboratories in the fight against the pandemic. The donations are aimed at boosting COVID-19 testing across the country.
Presenting the test kits and medical equipment at NCDC Lagos office, Zouera Youssoufou, CEO, Aliko Dangote Foundation, commended the efforts of the public health institution in the fight against the virus and expressed optimism that the test kits and medical supplies provided would further expand testing capabilities across the country to meet critical health infrastructure need to combat the virus.
“On behalf of COCAVID, we are delighted to hand over the following items to you – MicPCR realtime PCR systems; RNA extraction kits; well PCR tube strips; well semi-skirted PCR plates; pipette tips; oral and nasal swab sets; tongue depressors, viral transport media; disposable latex medical gloves, etc. These items can sufficiently set up six medical laboratories and collect samples for over 26,400 people,” Youssoufou said.
Receiving the items, Olajumoke Babatunde, deputy director, NCDC Lagos office, thanked CACOVID for the donation and described the gesture as integral to the success of COVID-19 response in the country.
“On behalf of the director general of the NCDC, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, we want to thank you for your help in strengthening national COVID-19 response. We acknowledge and applaud your contributions,” Babatunde said.
“The capacity to test is very integral to the success of COVID-19 response by confirming, isolating, managing cases and containing outbreak in communities. The NCDC DG had earlier communicated plans to expand testing to 3 million people in three months and donations like this will surely help in achieving this goal,” she said.
Also speaking at the handover event, Kola Jinadu, team lead, NCDC Rapid Response Team Lagos, said the continuous support and donations by CACOVID over the last months have saved so many lives and thanked the coalition for committing invaluable resources towards this cause.
This donation comes on the heels of the recent commissioning of a 150-bed isolation centre in Yaba, Lagos, one of the 38 isolation centres set up across the nation to provide adequate treatment to those infected by the virus and stop the overall spread of the virus within the state.
Till date, CACOVID has committed billions of naira to build 38 fully-equipped isolation centres across Nigeria with over 5,000 beds and critical medical equipment needed to fight the pandemic, exemplifying sustainable value addition from a partnership that truly works.