Chinese government has announced support for Nigeria’s health sector with the donation of 12 automated ambulances to the government. Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Gu Xiao JIE said at the weekend that the ambulances had been distributed to 11 tertiary institutions while one got involved in an accident on the way to Abuja.
He noted that the gesture was part of his country’s commitment to oiling its age long bilateral relationship with Nigeria and that they would improve the country’s health emergency response.
The beneficiaries institutions are University College, Ibadan, National Orthopaedic Hospital, Kano, Federal Medical Centre, Abakaliki, Othman Dan Fodio University, Sokoto, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Nnamdi Azikiwe Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, the NCDC, Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja and University of Jos Teaching Hospital, Jos.
Speaking at the brief hand-over programme, the Ambassador said: “the presentation of the 12 ambulances remains an important gesture in the China – Nigeria bilateral relations and cooperation between the two nations.
“In China, we pay a lot of attention to health and that is why we will continue to assist Nigeria in its efforts to strengthen healthcare services in the country.”
The Chinese envoy stated that the 12 ambulances is a continuation of the contingent plan by the Chinese government during the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) to assist Nigeria and fight all forms of epidemics and strengthen healthcare emergency system.
Receiving the ambulances on behalf of the government, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Mr Linus Awute, applauded the Chinese government for its support which he described as been phenomenal. He noted that China had done more for Nigeria compared to other countries. He also recalled the support of the Chinese government during the Ebola pandemic in Nigeria was very instrumental in assisting the country to fight the virus.
He stated that “the history of Nigeria’s efforts to contain Ebola cannot be completed with the support of the Peoples Republic of China” adding that, it is “a classical example of a working relation.” Awute also tasked health institutions the ambulances were donated to ensure that they are properly utilised.
He cautioned against poor handling of the ambulances, stating that there is need to ensure that drivers have real qualification in handling such ambulances. The Project Director of the National Centre for Control Disease (NCDC) Prof Abdusalam Nasidi who received the ambulances on the behalf of other institutions said the support will help fast track healthcare emergencies in the country.
He said, “the support by the Chinese government with the provision of 12 ambulances is timely, handy and perfect” as it will improve response to emergency cases mostly during outbreak of epidemics or other related emergencies.”
Published: May 17, 2015.By Victor Iluyemi
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