By G9ija

The Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Prof. Mohammed Nasir Sambo, has reiterated the agency’s commitment toeards supporting the sustained efforts of the federal government in protecting all Nigerians from the debilitating scourge of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sambo stated this while handing over a consignment of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) to the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Umar Abba Mohammed, at the headquarters of the anti-graft agency in Abuja.

In a statement yesterday by the Head of Media and Public Relations, NHIS, Ayo Osinlu, Sambo commended the strategies and initiatives being deployed by the nation through the Federal Ministry of Health, the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), to protect lives and livelihood of all residents of the country.

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

According to him, “this 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 the personnel of healthcare providers through the governments of the states 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, and to also stem 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.