The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) says it has received crucial supplies of test kits to support the fight against COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria.
The UNICEF Country Representative, Mr Peter Hawkins, made this known in a statement on Tuesday following a delivery of 115,800 COVID-19 test kits by IHS Nigeria, the Nigerian subsidiary of IHS Towers.
Hawkins said: “Testing remains the mainstay of the response led by the Presidential Task Force and Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the first step toward diagnosing the infection.
“Tests enable health officials to understand the COVID-19 status of an individual and link that person to care, support and treatment while contributing to the protection of families and communities.”
The UNICEF representative commended IHS Towers for its commitment to the fight against COVID-19 in Nigeria.
According to him, the company has shown great generosity in supporting government’s agenda through partnering with UNICEF.
“UNICEF is delighted to receive this huge contribution from IHS Towers, the benefit of which will reach many more children and their families.
“This recent support of essential tests makes IHS Towers the biggest private sector donor for UNICEF Nigeria’s emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
Also, the Director-General, NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, said testing remained a core strategy of Nigeria’s response to COVID-19.
Ihekweazu said it was critical for understanding the burden of the disease on the population and targeting response activities accordingly.
“The primary goal of the Nigerian Government is to control the spread of this disease.
“This donation from IHS Nigeria, through UNICEF, will contribute to the national stockpile of test kits managed by NCDC, and support efforts of the growing network of accredited laboratories across the country for the testing of COVID-19.
“We are grateful for the continued support from UNICEF, IHS Towers and other partners,” the director-general said.
In his remarks, Chief Executive Officer, IHS, Nigeria, Mr Mohamad Darwish, said the company was glad to have played an important role in supporting government and communities where it operates to provide crucial tools needed to fight the pandemic.
Darwish said: “We understand this virus is here to stay for the foreseeable future.
“But we are confident that with our support, and that of our other private sector colleagues, we are helping to manage and mitigate the impact of the virus in our country.”