UN procures ventilators and other medical supplies to boost the Government of Nigeria’s response to COVID-19

Posted April 14, 2020

Offloading of the first consignment of ventilators and medical supplies at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja, Nigeria. The essential medical supplies and equipment was procured through UNDP for the UN in Nigeria as part of the UN COVID-19 Basket Fund to support the Government response. photo: UNDP Nigeria/Ngele Ali

Abuja, Nigeria, 14 April 2020 – A shipment of ventilators and other essential medical supplies procured by the UN system in Nigeria to support the Government’s COVID-19 response arrived at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport today.

The consignment (that is likely to be the first of several to come) includes 50 A30 ventilators and personal protective supplies procured with funds from the recently launched COVID-19 Basket Fund, including USD $2 million mobilised within the UN system in Nigeria and a USD $200,000 contribution from APM Terminals. The arrival of the medical equipment and supplies will be a boost to the Government’s efforts to provide an efficient and effective healthcare response for those affected by the virus. The supplies will be deployed around the country to health facilities in most need due to the outbreak, and coordination structures are already in place between the Government and the UN to ensure urgent deployment.

The next shipment of personal protective equipment (PPE) expected to arrive in Nigeria later this month.

“The world is in the midst of an unprecedented crisis. The spread of the COVID-19 is expected to put immense pressure on Nigeria’s healthcare system. The UN in Nigeria is actively mobilising resources in support of the Government's national response strategy of containing the pandemic and adequately caring for those confirmed to have the virus." said, Mr. Edward Kallon, United Nations Resident Coordinator for Nigeria. 

As of 13 April 2020, there were 343 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Nigeria, with 91 discharged and ten fatalities. Through the COVID-19 Basket Fund, the UN in Nigeria is supporting accelerated Government response to address the pandemic, prevent further spread of the virus and ensure optimum care for those affected by the coronavirus.

The Hon. Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, noted that, the arrival of the medical supplies and equipment procured through the UN in Nigeria would go a long way towards boosting the Government's efforts to strengthen healthcare services and manage the pandemic.

“No one is immune to the COVID-19 pandemic. While the essential medical equipment and supplies will strengthen the Nigeria healthcare system to enable it to cope better with the threat of the pandemic, we all have a responsibility, as individuals, to adhere to recommended measures and support Government’s efforts to curb the spread of this virus. Together we will defeat this pandemic.” said, Mohammed A. Ahmed, Managing Director - APM Terminals Nigeria.

The UN in Nigeria, through the COVID-19 Basket Fund, is supporting the Government of Nigeria with coordination, preparedness, response and risk communication through the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19 Response. The guiding principles of engagement for national authorities and partners to respond to the pandemic, based on lessons learned in the HIV response, are the following (i) One agreed National COVID-19 Multi-Sectoral Pandemic Response Plan; (ii) One COVID-19 National Coordinating Authority with a broad-based multi-sector mandate; (iii) One COVID-19  monitoring and evaluation system.

Notes to the editor: 

On 6 April 2020, the UN system in Nigeria, in collaboration with the Government, launched the COVID-19 Basket Fund to complement ongoing efforts to mobilise resources in support of the National COVID-19 Multi-Sectoral Pandemic Response Plan, developed by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19. The COVID-19 Basket Fund serves as the One COVID-19 Financing and Investment Platform, through which diverse stakeholders (UN and other multilaterals, bilaterals, private sector, foundations, philanthropists, among others) can channel their support to ensure an efficient, effective and impactful response to the coronavirus pandemic in Nigeria. 

The COVID-19 Basket Fund will be facilitated and implemented by the UN system in Nigeria, through a Project Management Board comprising representatives of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 Response, relevant Government agencies, contributing donors and the UN system. The UN system is supporting the Government of Nigeria through the Basket Fund, which will also fund socio-economic interventions, such as cash transfers or food distribution to vulnerable groups adversely affected by measures instituted to control the further spread of the pandemic.

The National COVID-19 Response Plan is developed around ten pillars, encompassing scaling up surveillance, testing, isolation, contact tracing, infection prevention and control (including protection of medical staff), case management of critically unwell COVID-19 patients, risk communication and community engagement, research and emergency preparedness, security and logistics for mass care, and coordination and resource mobilisation.  

For more information and media enquiries contact:

Ngele Ali – Head of Communications and Partnerships, UNDP Nigeria | +234 (0)907 031 1732 | ngele.ali@undp.org
Oluseyi Soremekun – National Information Officer, UNIC Nigeria | +234 (0)803 303 0002
Rupa Bhadra – Advocacy Officer, UNAIDS Nigeria | Tel. +234 (0)907 253 1418 | bhadrar@unaids.org
Eliana Drakopoulos – Chief of Communications, Advocacy and Partnerships, UNICEF Nigeria | Tel. +234 (0)803 525 0273 | edrakopoulos@unicef.org