COVID-19: Israeli Govt Donates 2,000 More 3D Face Masks to Nigeria

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President Buhari

By; MATTHEW UKACHUNWA, Lagos

The authority of Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Health said the Embassy of Israel  donated 2,000 3D face masks to Nigeria on Wednesday, in fulfillment of its promise to give the country 10,000 pieces of the product to support Nigeria in tackling Novel Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

“The Israeli Embassy in Nigeria led by H.E. Simoh Bem Soshan which earlier planned a donation of 10, 000 face masks to “medical staff who are in the frontline in Nigeria” has made good its promise coming with the second donation of 2, 000 today, Wednesday, 12th August, 2020,” the health ministry announced yesterday. 

Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, assured Nigeria will reciprocate the gesture.

Information from the ministry stated that the earlier donation of the first installment of 2, 000 was made earlier on Thursday, 7th May, 2020. 

“To this, the Honourable Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire who in the company of the Permanent Secretary, Health, Mr. A.M. Abdullahi received the second installment of the promised face masks said he wish that Nigeria could reciprocate this kind gesture given the fact that Israel like every other country in the world is facing its own share of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Israeli Ambassador to Nigeria H.E. Simoh Bem Soshan had earlier pointed out that the face masks were designed in Israel but produced in Nigeria by a Nigerian-Israeli Company – Skill-G Nigeria,” Olujimi Oyetomi, Director, Information, Media and Public Relations of the ministry wrote in a statement.

He quoted the Israeli Ambassador as saying: “the production of the face masks were produced in Nigeria by Nigeria engineers”, but regretted that the State of Israel would have loved to donate all the planned 10, 000 at once but that the production  technique is such that only 100 of such masks could be produced per day.  

“So, with the second batch of 2,000 brought in, an outstanding 6,000 of such masks are still being expected.”

The Honourable Minister of Health gave two reasons why he is always feeling grateful whenever there is an extension of goodwill in forms of donations to Nigeria.  

He said:  “First, we have a large population, and therefore, we need a lot of materials; Secondly, he said, “No one knows how long this will last and where we are heading as we are all looking forward to vaccine, then everybody has to be ready to defend its citizens; that’s where we are placing a lot of emphasis on stockpiling.”

Dr. Osagie Ehanire further said that “For the State of Israel, we know that you have your own problems and challenges of COVID-19 and as everyone is dealing with its own, it is very gratifying to note that you still have time to support your neighbour in need.  We too wish we could also send you something to you in Israel, because that would have been mutual.”  

The Honourable Minister expressed sympathy with Israel over what he said are developments there:  “Our thoughts and prayers are with everybody there.”  

He also asked for the opportunity for mutual studying of the situation and sharing of experience and knowledge between scientists in Israeli and Nigeria.

Dr. Ehanire also approached the visitors from the Israeli Embassy with two other requests: firstly, sharing knowledge with Israeli Researchers on Vaccine against COVID-19, so that “by the time we are able to get the vaccine, when you are the first to get, you will be able to support those countries that are in need for their citizens.

Secondly, Nigeria working with Israeli consultancy to establish its Medical Ambulance Emergency Service disclosing that there has been zoom meetings in partnership with Israelis to learn how Israeli operates its emergency medical services which Nigeria is just trying to establish.  The Honourable Minister of Health mentioned the motorcycle medical response team in particular which Israel has been using.

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