*…as Cititrust donates N1m to organisation for PPEs
By Chioma Obinna
The Executive Director of Health Emergency Initiative, HEI, Mr. Paschal Achunine, has said that timely provision of Personal Protective Equipment, PPE, for medical workers was critical in the fight against COVID-19.
Achunine, who spoke at the formal presentation of N1 million cheque to HEI by the Cititrust Holdings to procure PPE for health workers in public hospitals, said non-availability of PPE has led to deaths of victims of coronavirus disease across the world.
He said: “If you check across the globe, in most places where the pandemic killed a lot of people, it happened because they don’t have enough PPE or it was not provided on time.”
Achunine said HEI embarked on setting up of an emergency trust fund to fill in the gaps of purchase and distribution of PPEs to health facilities in Nigeria.
According to him, “with the fund provided by Cititrust Holdings, we will also, get the PPEs across to the critical ones that need them.
“We have been working with hospitals in the last five years and we know their touchpoints. Every kobo committed to us, gets maximum value.”
He said HEI had been working with organisations, including the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH; Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH, and Infectious Diseases Hospital, IDH, Yaba, in the last five years.
The Executive Director further noted that more robust engagement was required to defeat COVID-19 in Nigeria.
He urged government at all levels to ensure that vigilance is maintained regarding the rules stipulated in the last 90 days, now that the economy is opening up.
“Government should deploy more personnel for monitoring. There is a need for proper communications because many people still feel that COVID-19 is a scam,” he added.
He advised Nigerians to understand that the landscape has changed, hence they need to take responsibility for their health and take every measure to stay alive.
He noted that “the resources are limited and challenges are there, but I urged companies and individuals to key into the emergency trust fund.”
Presenting the cheque earlier, Group Chief Executive of Cititrust, Mr. Yemi Adefisan, explained that the donation was their contribution and support towards the fight against COVID-19 pandemic.
Adefisan said the company operates across 13 African countries and was still expanding its frontiers in the globe.
He said they had made donations in other Africans countries as well as in Lagos and Osun states, as the company would continue to donate food, materials and PPE to state governments.
“Today is a cash donation to HEI for PPE for health workers. We hope that the equipment will get down to the right people to help support the vulnerable and those affected by the pandemic,’’ he added.