China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) has donated over one million masks and other medical supplies to Nigeria, as part of its corporate social responsibility to help the country to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
The masks will soon arrive in Nigeria, alongside some ventilators and Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs).
Minister for Health, Osagie Ehanire, disclosed this while speaking to journalists during the daily Presidential Task Force briefing on COVID-19.
The medical supplies expected from China, according to Ehanire, will support efforts that have already been made by the government towards fighting the virus. Ehanire said:
“Many of you who read the news know that there is a global competition for masks, that certain countries have been accusing each other of capturing each other’s masks.
“It is particularly pacifying that in the face of all of this, we are able to get these supplies here, which even if we had the money, we would not have been able to order,” Ehanire said.
He described the protective wears as the most needed in the supplies, as it is expedient to protect the frontline workers who put their lives at risk while working to mitigate the spread of the virus.
According to the minister, an 18-man team made up of Chinese medical and technical experts will also be coming into the country at the same time to offer advice.
He noted that the technical team expected from China would have research doctors, nurses, and laboratory technicians who “will share their own knowledge and skills – and their real-life experiences of fighting COVID-19 – with Nigerian experts.”
The discussions and exchange of ideas will help position Nigerian medical professionals to better manage the cases, especially those in need of critical care; something China has had experience with.
“We do have a window of opportunity to strengthen our response mechanisms through lessons we learn from any country that has had the experience and can provide a hands-on demonstration of how to deal with the outbreak and give Nigerian clinical workforce the opportunity of sharing global best practices,” Ehanire said.
Note that the Chinese construction firm is in charge of a significant number of Nigeria’s major construction projects, particularly railway construction.