The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, has explained the role of the Chinese health experts expected to arrive in Nigeria.
Mustapha, who is the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, noted that the experts were expected in the country on the invitation of a Chinese company, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC).
Addressing a press briefing on Monday in Abuja, he stressed that the development was to complement the efforts of the Nigerian government to curtail the spread of coronavirus just like other nations around the world were doing.
He said, “I wish to clarify that all the countries of the world are seeking assistance and are receiving help in the fight against COVID-19 – even the United States is looking for help elsewhere. “The support coming from China is a cooperate social responsibility initiated by CCECC, a company with a total volume of infrastructural contracts in Nigeria worth over N10 billion.”
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The SGF said the gesture by the Chinese company has triggered mixed reactions from Nigerians recently, adding that it was important to address the issue. He also noted the concerns raised by resident doctors and other medical professionals in the country.
Mustapha, however, clarified that CCECC intended to import a large number of equipment and items in different quantities. He listed the items to be imported to include 1,300,000 medical masks, over 150,000 pieces of Personal Protective Equipment, as well as 50 medical ventilators.
The company, he noted, has also proposed and on its own suggested to sponsor public health experts to help strengthen Nigeria’s public health capacity and advise on processes and procedures.
“The professionals that have been invited by CCECC through their apparent company in China to come are public health specialists and medical engineers that will support Nigeria’s capacity in managing the pandemic on an advisory basis … while drawing from the experience of the Chinese,” the SGF explained.
He added, “In no way shall there be case management and interface with patients. They would train our manpower, advise on procedures and methods, install and test the equipment donated before handing them over for our technicians to begin to use them.
“I, therefore, use this medium to appeal to our medical professionals to see the positive aspect of these gestures as an extension of development in the field of medicine.”