On Friday 3rd April 2020, during the Presidential Task Force Media Briefing, the imminent arrival to Nigeria of a team of Chinese medical experts was announced. The delegation of 15 Chinese medical experts, who arrived today, is composed of doctors, nurses and laboratory technicians who will help strengthen testing and management of COVID-19 cases, especially those needing critical care in Nigeria.
As of April 8th, Nigeria has recorded 276 cases across several states with 6 deaths and discharged 44 cases. In addition to providing their expertise, the donation provides medical supplies to augment the efforts of the government towards containing the COVID-19 outbreak in Nigeria.
The mission will strengthen our response in Nigeria based on lessons from the response in China. The Chinese medical team will provide first-hand experience and insights on how they were able to bring the spread of the disease under control.
The donors, a group of Chinese companies working in Nigeria, made this gesture in a show of solidarity and cooperation with the Nigerian government as the world works together to contain this disease which has disrupted the lives of many. The donation also includes medical equipment and consumables, personal protective equipment (PPE) with over 1 million medical masks for health workers, and ventilators, amongst other items valued at over $1,300,000.
These resources will support the ongoing efforts of our hard-working and resourceful health workers across the country, including doctors and nurses, who have been at the forefront of fighting the coronavirus disease. The PPE will also serve to protect these frontline workers and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in the line of duty.
The Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH), on behalf of the Federal Government, appreciates this gesture from the Chinese community in Nigeria, recognising that collaboration, knowledge sharing, and expert insight are critical in the fight against coronavirus.
FMoH assures that the Federal Government, through the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), will ensure the quality of all the medical supplies that were brought into the country. It must be stressed that, following global best practices and in line with our advisory, the medical experts from China have gone into isolation for 14 days and will be tested for COVID-19.
The Federal Ministry of Health will ensure proper distribution of the donations and strategic engagement with the medical team from China, to work with Nigerian medical experts. It is important to emphasise that the guests are not here to treat patients but to conduct capacity building based on their experience.
All available resources shall be deployed to support adequate engagement of Nigerian medical experts towards curbing the spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria.
Dr. E. Osagie Ehanire MD, FWACS
Honourable Minister of Health