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NAF airlifts medical materials to 13 ECOWAS Countries

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The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has commenced airlifting of thousands of medical materials and other consumables procured by the West African Health Organization (WAHO) for distribution to 14 member nations of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Nigeria inclusive, to curtail the spread of COVID-19.

The airlift of the medical supplies is said to be in fulfillment of the promise made by President Muhammadu Buhari, who is the ECOWAS COVID-19 Response Coordination “Champion”, that Nigeria would provide logistics support to ensure the items are distributed to all countries in the Sub-Region.

The director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, in a statement listed the 13 other ECOWAS countries to include Cote D’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, The Gambia, Senegal, Togo, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Cape Verde, Niger Republic, Burkina Faso, Mali and the Republic of Benin.

The medical materials, which would be airlifted in 3 phases include laboratory diagnostic kits, Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs), intensive care equipment and miscellaneous medical accessories such as coveralls, masks, face shields, goggles, reagents, viral transport medium, ventilators and oxygen concentrators, amongst others.

Flagging off the airlift of the medical materials at the 307 Executive Airlift Group (307 EAG), Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, on 4 August 2020, the chairman, presidential task force (PTF) on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, who was represented by the minister of State for Health, Dr Olorunnimbe Mamora, stated that President Buhari had risen to the occasion as a true Champion who has demonstrated good leadership, solidarity, friendship and good neighbourliness to the sub-region.

He noted that the NAF had remained the backbone of the logistics operations of the PTF’s response in tackling the COVID-19 Pandemic in the country.

He commended the pilots and entire crew of the 2 NAF C-130H aircraft that would be handling the airlift/distribution exercise for their dedication and professionalism.

In his remarks, while receiving the consignments for airlift, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, who was represented by the Chief of Training and Operations, Air Vice Marshal (AVM) James Gwani, noted that in line with the NAF’s responsibility of providing aid to civil authorities, the Service considered the airlifting of the items a great privilege and worthy contribution to a noble cause.

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