The United States government has donated a mobile field hospital to Nigeria to support the country’s effort to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, said at the commissioning of the facility said this was a demonstration of Washington’s commitment to partnership with Nigeria to fight the COVID-19 scourge.
The field hospital is located at the Federal Medical Centre, in Jabi, Abuja.
Ms Beth Leonard was accompanied for the commissioning of the mobile field hospital by the Minister of State for Health, Olorunnimbe Mamora.
The field hospital includes four fully-equipped, negative pressure isolation facilities with the capacity to house up to 40 patients.
It also includes an administrative unit, a 160-kilowatts auxiliary generator, and other support equipment, such as beds, sub-floors, showers, and lavatories.
Ambassador Leonard said the $1.3 million field hospital was donated to the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Health by the United States Department of Defense’s U.S. Africa Command, with support from the U.S. CDC, and the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR).
She said the facility was built in the United States and manufactured by Alaska Structures, and assembled in Abuja by an all-Nigerian team.
“As we celebrate 60 years of U.S.-Nigeria diplomatic relations, and many years of health partnerships, it is deeply satisfying to look back on the many ways we have worked together to improve the health, safety, and security of the Nigerian people,” Ambassador Leonard said.
She said the U.S. government would continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with Nigeria to achieve these aims and remain committed to helping the country implement effective health efforts and improve its capacity to safely isolate and treat confirmed COVID-19 cases.
Ambassador Leonard further noted that in addition to providing isolation capacity, “supporting the healthcare workers who are caring for patients at this facility and across the country, is critical to Nigeria’s effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.”
The commissioning ceremony was hosted by Senator Mamora on behalf of the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire.
The ceremony was witnessed by some, senior government officials in the health sector, including the Permanent Secretary, Abdulaziz Mashi Abdullahi, and Director of Hospital Services at the Federal Ministry of Health, Adebimpe Adebiyi.
Other participants included the Director-General of the Nigeria Center for Disease Control, Chikwe Ihekweazu, and the Chairman of the Committee of Chief Medical Directors in Tertiary Hospitals in Nigeria, who is also the Chief Medical Director at the National Hospital, Abuja, Jack Momoh.
The United States has donated more than $488 million in equipment, training and education to help African countries combat COVID-19, and more than $73 million of those donations have been here in Nigeria.
This includes the delivery of 200 ventilators, epidemiological COVID detection surveys, technical assistance, and service plans.
Over 60 members of the U.S. Mission in Nigeria — from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), USAID, and the U.S. Department of Defense’s Walter Reed Army Institute of Research — stood side by side with Nigerian counterparts at the National Center for Disease Control, National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA), Presidential Task Force and Nigerian military to strategize, plan, and effectively implement treatment of Nigerian citizens over the past eleven months.