The United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) said it has received 115 800 test kits to support the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic in Nigeria.
In a statement released on Tuesday, Unicef country representative in Nigeria Peter Hawkins said the test kits were donated by IHS Nigeria, the subsidiary of mobile telecoms giant IHS Towers.
“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,” Hawkins said
Hawkins said IHS Towers had shown great generosity in supporting the 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.
The director-general of the NCDC Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu said testing remained a core strategy of Nigeria’s response to fighting 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,” Ihekweazu added.
According to figures on real-time data portal Worldometer, on Tuesday Africa’s most populous country was sitting on 58,460 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, with 1 111 deaths.