The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has donated 115,000 COVID-19 test kits to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to assist Federal Government’s efforts to curb the Coronavirus pandemic.
The UNICEF Representative, Ms Rushnan Murtaza, said this on Tuesday, September 29, 2020 during the donation at the NCDC National Reference Laboratory in Abuja.
According to her, the donation is funded by IHS Towers as part of its contribution to curbing the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria.
IHS Towers Nigeria Ltd is a Nigeria-based company established in 2001 to provide and maintain telecommunications infrastructure.
Murtaza said: “Today, we are here with IHS Nigeria once again to present vital test kits and supplies.
“The kits were procured through donations by IHS Nigeria to UNICEF to strengthen the fund’s support for the Nigerian government’s response to the COVID-19 emergency.”
She said that since the COVID-19 pandemic hit Nigeria, IHS Towers had twice extended financial support to UNICEF to facilitate provision of essential equipment and test kits crucial in the response to curb the virus.
Murtaza said that the support made IHS Towers the biggest private sector contributor in Nigeria for UNICEF Nigeria support to COVID-19 response.
She added that “the fund in Nigeria works alongside the government in realising the rights of all children, making the United Nations mandate a reality of leaving no one behind.”
The UNICEF representative said that in 2019, the Federal Government, UNICEF and the business sector launched an initiative on “Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector.”
She explained that efforts by IHS Nigeria had continued to contribute its core business assets, as well as convene peer organisations to support the campaign.
Director General of NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, said that the country was working towards ensuring that its citizens were protected.
He said: “We will ensure that Nigerians get back their lives.”
According to him, whenever the story of Nigeria is told, UNICEF and IHS Towers must be mentioned.
He thanked the donors for their support in the fight against COVID-19 and promised that the centre would make proper use of the items.
According to him, the NCDC National Reference Laboratory in Abuja runs for 24 hours, including Saturdays and Sundays.
Chief Executive Officer of IHS Nigeria Ltd., Muhamad Darwish, said that the company would continue to support the country.
Darwish urged the government to focus more on awareness as key to the fight against the COVID-19.
According to him, one thing is to have the test kits and other items but the most important is for people to make use of them.
By Franca Ofili