The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on Tuesday donated one million dollars worth of medical equipment to the Nigerian government.
Speaking at a ceremony organised to hand the pieces of equipment over to the federal government, the Saudi Ambassador to Nigeria, Faisal Ebraheem, said the donation was to affirm the Kingdom’s commitment to enhancing the relations between both countries.
He added that the gesture would go a long way toward strengthening the fight against the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“This is in order to combat the ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the medical equipment includes 23 ventilators, which are a key component in dealing with COVID-19 pandemic.
“Other items include 25, 000 surgical sterile gowns; 125, 000 non-sterile surgical gowns; 188, 000, KN95 face masks; 1, 606, 700 surgical masks, and 9,500 nitrile gloves.
“This is not the first time the Kingdom has contributed to the health sector in Nigeria.
“Through King Salman Al Saud’s Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre, in collaboration with Al-Basar International Foundation, a Voluntary Medical Campaign for Combatting Blindness and its Causes was launched in Nigeria.
“The campaign was conducted in Ibadan, Oyo State from Oct. 5-11, 2019, and in Lafia, Nasarawa State from Oct. 14-19, 2019 and the following achievements were recorded:
“About 8000 patients suffering from cataract and glaucoma, in addition to other sight weaknesses and disorders were diagnosed and treated.
“694 surgeries were done. More than 1,000 medical glasses were distributed to patients.
“These treatments were administered by consultants, surgeons, and ophthalmologists,” he said.
He added that the Kingdom planned to organise a 12-month voluntary medical campaign.
According to him, 11 of these campaigns are for combating blindness and its causes in the country, while the other campaign will involve catheterisation and heart surgery.
“This phase of the medical campaign is planned for Kano and Bauchi states, and the target number is 50,000 with 4,000 of them related to cataract and glaucoma operations.
“Also, we will see the distribution of 10, 000 medical glasses, and dispensing of necessary medicines.
“It also targets 70, 000 catheterisation and heart surgeries.
“The subsequent phase will look into specialised surgeries. The South-South and South-East geo-political zones will be in view in terms of this phases,” he said.
Ebraheem said the Kingdom was pleased with the depth of the relations between both countries.
He commended officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Health for their cooperation.