RAK Media Group, Grace Handover COVID-19 equipment to National Taskforce
By Wek Atak Kacjang
RAK Media Group and Grace Drugs and HealthcareSouth Sudan handed over COVID-19 equipment to the Chairman of the National Taskforce, who is also the Vice President in charge of Service Delivery Cluster, Hussein Abdel bagiin Juba on Saturday.
The equipment are part of the wider support from the Africa Export and Import Bank (Afrexim Bank) towards the rapid response to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
The Vice President, Hussein Abdelbagi, presided over the ceremony, which was also graced by high profiled guests. In attendance were the AU Ambassador, Dr JoramMukamaBiswaro, the Nigerian Ambassador, Ibim Charles Nkem, the Deputy Governor of Central Equatoria State, Sarah Nene Redento, the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health, Dr AnibMajur, and representatives from the donor companies, among others.
In his speech during the handover, the Head of Rak Media Group, Davis Gitari, thanked the government for its efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic in line with other governments of the world.
MrGitari appreciated the Afrexim bank, through the South Sudan Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, for funding the COVID-19 response plan, by boosting the country’s capacity to detect, test, treat, isolate, and mobilise its people to respond to COVID-19.
“To support the needy and the disadvantaged in the community during the harsh economic times, RMG donated food, books facemasks and clothes to Concern for Women and Children, Ministry of Health, DMI Sisters, Juba Orphanage and Straight Link Orphanage,” said Gitari.
“We also stitched over 100, 000 reusable face masks that were sold to the public at a subsidized price. We remain steadfast to fight this pandemic together with our little resources we can help in communication and ensuring the message reach the communities,’’ he added.
Among the items handed over by Rak Media were; 1,000 oxygen cylinders, 200 oxygen concentrators, 2 million 2-layer reusable, 1 oxygen production plant, 500 oxygen cylinder trolleys, 150,000 throat swabs, 100,000 antigen test kits, 10,000 protective health uniforms for nurses and doctors, 20,000 protective health pairs of shoes, 400,000 protective three ply facemasks, and 20,000 gowns for healthcare workers, hospital beds, thermometers, gloves, and spray pumps.
Meanwhile, the Executive Director of Grace Drugs and Healthcare, Uche Chika Ogbonna, assured Vice President Abdelbagi of consistent support for the health sector. He appreciated the Afrexim bank for the support, adding that the Nigerian President was bound to extend his helping hand to South Sudan due to his unwavering love for the country.
“If I fall sick, I will run to the nearest hospital, so we chose the best. We decided to give to you what you could use because when we look at you, you remind us of ourselves. Thank you for this opportunity, we are here to help you harmonize standards of Africa. We are here to help you build a formidable hospital,” he said.
Grace Drugs and Healthcare handed over items including cartridges, hospital beds, anesthesia workstations, incinerators, ventilators, and PCR test kits, ambulances, among others.
The AU Ambassador, Dr Biswaro, advised that the equipment should be used not only for the benefit of the South Sudanese but in the broader spectrum of Africa as a whole. He called for the equipment to be taken to the countryside, like villages and borders.
He called on the Presidency to play a key role in the implementation of Chapter 2 of the Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS), which he said was the backbone of the 2018 agreement.
However, the Nigerian Ambassador to South Sudan, Ibim Charles Nkem, disclosed that the Afrexim Bank was willing to support South Sudan on critical projects. He called for Africans to empower themselves by starting to produce their own vaccines.
He said that although people had different perceptions of Nigeria, business-wise, he boasted his country had proved itself supportive through Afrexim Bank.
In his closing remarks, Vice President Abdelbagi, said that the items would be dispatched to various locations where the services are needed as soon as possible.
Abdelbagi, directed the Ministry of Health, the Medical Advisory Panel, and the National Taskforce Audit Committee to provide Covid-19 equipment to the national health laboratories and the Dr John Garang Infectious Diseases Centre.