Ventilators promised by United States President Donald Trump have finally arrived in Nigeria.
Trump had in a telephone conversation with President Muhammadu Buhari in April, promised to send ventilators to Nigeria, to support the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
Over 200 ventilators have now arrived in Nigeria, courtesy of the US government, five months after Trump made the promise.
Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, received the ventilators, on behalf of the Federal Government, from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) at a ceremony in Abuja on Tuesday.
The minister thanked the US government for the gesture, noting that the ventilators are critical in the treatment of persons who have been severely affected by the coronavirus disease.
“This donation consists of 200 ventilators, which, as we all know by now, are a critical component of the response strategy to save the lives of persons who have been severely impacted by this viral infection.
“They will certainly be of great benefit to the people of Nigeria and I wish to convey the appreciation of His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and of the government of Nigeria, to President Donald Trump and the United States Government for the generous consideration and friendly gesture.
“The Federal Ministry of Health, and its public health Agency, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), have focused on providing guidance to tackle the challenges.
“Our health workers have been trained and equipped and are doing the needful to attend to COVID-19 patients and give emergency care, while not losing sight of routine and essential health services.”
Daily Tracker reports that the Federal Government had earlier begged an American billionaire, Elon Musk, for ventilators, a move which was condemned by many Nigerians, who felt the development undermined the country’s image.
The Federal Government eventually withdrew the request.
The request followed reports that there are just a few functional ventilators in the country.