President Goodluck Jonathan has said that the Federal Government has made boosting the availability and affordability of life-saving drugs nationwide one of the primary objectives of its strategy for achieving significant improvements in national healthcare services in the shortest possible time.
Speaking at an audience with a delegation from the Merck Pharmaceuticals Company of Germany, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Friday, November 9, President Jonathan said that his Administration was doing everything possible to ensure that genuine essential drugs and medicines are constantly available in hospitals and pharmacies in all parts of the country.
The President said that the Federal Government was working with drug manufacturers, friendly nations and international organizations towards the achievement of this objective and would welcome increased international support and assistance for its effort to give more Nigerians easier access to essential drugs and medicines.
President Jonathan thanked the Merck delegation which was led by Dr. Frank Stangenberg Haverkamp-Merck for the company’s ongoing support for healthcare delivery in Nigeria through the continued donation of large quantities of its drug, Praziquantel for the free treatment of schistosomiasis or bilharzias, a chronic illness that can damage internal organs and, in children, impair growth and cognitive development.
“We really appreciate your gesture. Your drugs will help us to save even more lives under our Save One Million Lives Initiative which I recently launched. We will make the best use of the drugs and will work with you and our other friends in the international community to achieve our objective of better health services for all Nigerians,” the President told Dr. Haverkamp-Merck and his team.
Dr. Haverkamp-Merck told the President that his company which is the oldest pharmaceuticals company in the world, having been in existence since 1668, will continue to support the Jonathan Administration’s Save One Million Lives Initiative in every possible way.
He informed the President that the company which currently operates in over 60 countries was also assisting and supporting NAFDAC in the agency’s efforts to ensure that only genuine drugs and medicines are supplied to Nigerians.