Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire says the Federal Government plans to equip every public hospital in the country with an isolation centre and a 10-bed intensive care unit.
He also disclosed that the number of public health laboratories in Nigeria has increased from two to 80.
The minister disclosed this on Thursday at the Federal Executive Council meeting in Abuja.
“At the advent of COVID-19, the government has given every teaching hospital and every federal Medical Centre one oxygen generating plant each. That means one in every state.
“The hospitals are also benefiting. Apart from what the FG has promised and provided, every government hospital will get an isolation centre (many have been done already) and a 10-bed ICU,” he said.
Ehanire further disclosed that the ministry has been in contact with The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria to assist the country to procure and repair old oxygen plants.
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is an international financing and partnership organisation that aims to attract, leverage and invest additional resources to end epidemics.
“We have been discussing with Global Fund because they have been helping us in the fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. I approached them to help repair some old non-functional oxygen plants. We had new ones and had been able to repair some of the old ones.
“So we shall have oxygen sufficiency not only for COVID-19 but later on for things like asthma or pneumonia which before now were virtually neglected. So we shall be able to attend to those illnesses that also require oxygen but have a lot of difficulties accessing them. Those are the values that are being added,” he stated.
The minister was also optimistic that some of the experiences and gains from COVID-19 management would further help to improve the health sector in the term.
“We did hope that we are going to use the impetus from COVID-19 to improve our health sector and that is going on very well. We have been able to expand, first of all, the NCDC capacity to detect and trace diseases.
“The number of public health laboratories, not the labs in hospitals, has also increased. At the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, we had two. Now have over 80 labs. That’s a huge investment,” he said.
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