President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday said that boosting the availability and affordability of life-saving drugs nationwide was one of the strategic primary objectives of the federal government in achieving significant improvements in national healthcare services, in the shortest possible time.
Speaking with a delegation from the Merck Pharmaceuticals Company of Germany, President Jonathan said his administration was doing everything possible to ensure that essential drugs and medicines were constantly available in hospitals and pharmacies across the country.
He said the federal government was working with drug manufacturers, friendly nations and international organisations towards achieving this objective, and would welcome increased international support and assistance in the effort to provide easy access to essential drugs in Nigeria.
The president thanked the Merck delegation, led by Dr. Frank StangenbergHaverkamp-Merck, for the company's on-going support for healthcare delivery in Nigeria through the continued donation of large quantities of its drug Praziquantel for the free treatment of schistosomiasis or bilharzia, a chronic illness that can damage internal organs and impair growth and cognitive development in children.
"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 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.
Responding, Haverkamp-Merck said his company, which is the oldest pharmaceuticals company in the world, having been in existence since 1668, would continue to support the administration's Save One Million Lives Initiative in every possible way.