By Tobias Lengnan Dapam
Save the Children International Nigeria yesterday announced the donation of N50 million worth of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) and Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) materials to support the COVID-19 response actions by Lagos State and the FCT.
The organization in a statement issued yesterday by Amanuel Teferi Mamo, Save the Children Director of Advocacy and Campaigns, said the donation was made on Monday, during the presentation ceremony of the supplies organized in Lagos and Abuja, Federal Capital Territory.
It said the donation will enhance the government’s capacity towards containing the spread of the virus, and helps to sustain the ongoing health care responses to patients already infected by the disease.
“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 minimizing contamination, and direct risks to their overall care and protection,” said Mercy Gichuhi, Interim Country Director, Save the Children International Nigeria. “It is our responsibility to protect vulnerable children and their families from this disease, and we need to support our government partners who are at the front line in the coronavirus response.”
Save the Children said the donation was made through the support of the Femi Otedola Fund obtained through Cuppy Foundation, – and includes protective gowns, eye goggles, facemasks, gloves, and other vital health supplies, to support the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
DJ Cuppy on her part said, “the most vulnerable Nigerian children and their families are bearing the biggest burden of the COVID-19 pandemic. We have to ensure that they 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 organization’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. I hope the innovative community sensitization programs will help in making a positive shift in knowledge, attitude and practice across different locations in Nigeria and slow down the spread of the disease.”
Since the index case was recorded in the country, Save the Children International Nigeria has been working with the Nigerian government to respond to the pandemic as a member of the COVID-19 Response Task Force at the Federal level and in the States we are present. We have also supported the development and deployment of COVID-19 strategies to contain the spread of the disease.
Save the Children International Nigeria calls 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 immunization, and intensify public awareness raising campaigns within communities to stop the spread of the infection. 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.