By Franca Ofili
The Nigerian Association of Pharmacists and Pharmaceutical Scientists in the Americas ( NAPPSA) has donated diagnostics and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr Anthony Ikeme, the President of the association made the donation on Wednesday in Abuja.
Ikeme, represented by Dr Ali Onoja, a member of the association said that members intended to encourage the centre in the important role of coordinating the overall COVID-19 response in Nigeria.
He said that the association was an umbrella organisation of Nigerian Pharmacists and Pharmaceutical Scientists in the Americas.
The items donated are 10,000 pieces of nitrile examination gloves; 2,000 bottles of hand sanitiser gel; 2, 000 pieces of regular face mask; 1,000 pieces of KN95 valved face mask with respirator; 1,000 pieces of face shield (anti-fog, anti-splash) and 100 pieces of finger pulse oximeter with lanyard.
He said that the association had been involved in capacity building and exchange of knowledge with professional colleagues and healthcare institutions in the country.
According to him, the association key message is that Nigeria should not let the pandemic go without lessons that should inform the country’s decision going into future.
The NAPPSA president said that the pandemic reminded the country of the huge opportunity to play actively in the global health and pharmaceutical enterprise.
He called for an urgent need to invest in the creation of robust protocol for the preparedness, prevention and containment of pandemic with their related economic and social impacts.
He said the need to build strong health infrastructure and invest in human capital for the health sector could not be over-emphasised.
”Financing must be put in place to ensure that the country has a robust primary care infrastructure,” Ikeme said.
He called on the centre to facilitate the creation of a national strategy for medical and pharmaceutical manufacturing in Nigeria.
Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, the Director-General of NCDC thanked the association for its gesture to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ihekweazu said that the only way the country could fight the pandemic was to have “all hands on desk’’.
He noted that Nigerians in the Diaspora had been assisting in the fight against the virus.
Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, the Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) said that the commission was working with Nigerians in the Diaspora to return home to do more in the health sector.
Dabiri-Erewa said that such step was important because after COVID-19, other health issues must be addressed. (NAN)