ECOWAS begins deliberation to advance integration in the region
• Calls for innovative ideas from the private sector, others
The ECOWAS Administration and Finance Committee (AFC) has embarked on a four days virtual meeting with a focus on the mid-year budgetary review, appropriations and endorsements of the work programmes of the ECOWAS Institutions.
The meeting, which started on 14th and is expected to end on the 17th of July aims to reposition the ECOWAS region for greater integration among others.
ECOWAS, through the West African Health Organisation (WAHO) has also handed over essential medical equipment to the government of Nigeria as part of the regional response strategy to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The event flags off the series of handovers which will cover the entire region and boost the collective effort aimed at managing and curtailing the spread of the deadly virus.
With the active support of the German government through its Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the development agency-Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) as well as a bank- Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW), the collaborative effort delivered 12,800 goggles, 294,000 small, medium and large gloves, 23,220 small, medium and large gowns, 8,190 coverall and 1,600 face shields.
Other items also delivered were 12, 000 masks, 10,000 surgical masks, 5,000 sanitizers, 40,512 diagnostic test kits and two each of ventilators and ventilator trolleys.
Pledging firm commitment of the regional community to the fight against Covid-19, the President of the ECOWAS Commission H.E Jean-Claude Kassi Brou expressed the appreciation of ECOWAS to all the partners in the fight against COVID-19, which has enabled a measure of progress to be made.
He enthused that the materials donated will go a long way in the fight against COVID-19 bearing in mind the sustenance of the collective and coordinated regional efforts in ensuring that the health and wellbeing of West African citizens are guaranteed.
In his welcome address, the Director-General of WAHO Professor Stanley Okolo stated that the handover of the critical medical equipment is part of the larger efforts at flattening the COVID-19 curve. He noted further that as the collaboration of partners for a common goal is yielding desired fruits, it has become even more imperative for the populations to get into the habit of behavioural change adjustments.
Meanwhile, in a statement to commemorating 2020 WAHO day, Okolo, stressed the need to break the stronghold of poor health funding in the region by calling on the private sector, civil society organisations and universal community health insurance schemes to be innovatively involved.
According to him, the pandemic offered an insight into the region’s shortcomings, but also an opportunity to resolve to do better. Both the leaders and the led have had to endure the same facilities and utilise the same health resources with the obvious challenges.
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