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NHIS is committed to FG’s resolve to protect Nigerians against COVID-19

By Omowunmi Olaniyi |   13 September 2020   |   4:04 am  

The Executive Secretary, National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Prof Mohammed Nasir Sambo, has reiterated the agency’s commitment to support Federal Government’s effort to protect Nigerians from the debilitating scourge of COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking at the handing over a consignment of Personal Protection Equipment to the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Umar Abba Mohammed, in Abuja, Sambo commended the strategies and initiatives being deployed by the nation through the Federal Ministry of Health, Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to protect lives and livelihood of residents.

He, however, expressed particular concern for institutions and personnel providing essential services, whose nature of work predisposes them to high risk of infection, noting that no effort must be spared to ensure their protection in the line of duty.

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This, he said, is responsible for “the prompt response of the NHIS to requests from the PTF on COVID-19 for assistance in the provision of personal protection equipment for officers of strategic agencies such as the Police, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and the EFCC”.

The NHIS boss said the Scheme had also recently extended similar gesture to personnel of healthcare providers through the government of some states in the country with high burden of COVID -19.

Sambo disclosed that this was intended to protect frontline health workers from possible infection, while they provide services to health seekers, besides stemming the reported abandonment of duty posts by some health workers for fear of infection by the dreaded virus.

He said the seriousness attached to curbing the spread of the virus informed the Scheme’s constitution of a Standing Committee on COVID -19, charged to design internal strategies and enforce overall protocol and guidelines issued by relevant authorities against the disease.

In his remarks, the acting Chairman of EFCC expressed the agency’s appreciation to the PTF for midwifing the huge supply of PPE from NHIS, adding that it will go a long way in ensuring the protection of the agency’s staff in the line of duty.

He promised to ensure that distribution is made to the fourteen zonal formations of EFCC nationwide, recalling his personal role in the recovery of the trapped funds of the Scheme, and the return of same to NHIS, while giving assurance to continue to pursue vigorously further fund recovery for the Scheme.

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