Abuja - President Goodluck Jonathan on Friday said that the Federal Government had made boosting the availability and affordability of life-saving drugs nationwide one of its primary objectives.
Jonathan said this at the State House, Abuja, when he granted audience to a delegation from the Merck Pharmaceuticals Company of Germany.
He said the strategy would help in achieving significant improvements in national healthcare services in the shortest possible time.
Jonathan said his administration was doing everything possible to ensure that genuine essential drugs and medicines were constantly available in hospitals and pharmacies in all parts of the country.
He said the Federal Government was working with drug manufacturers, friendly nations and international organisations toward achieving the objective.
The president solicited increased international support and assistance to give more Nigerians easier access to essential drugs and medicines.
He thanked the Dr Frank Haverkamp-Merck-led delegation for the company’s ongoing support for healthcare delivery in Nigeria, and for the continued donation of drugs.
Jonathan particularly thanked the company for donating the Praziquantel drug 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 will work with you and our other friends in the international community to achieve our objective of better health services for all Nigerians,’’ he said.
Responding, Haverkamp-Merck told the President that the company was the oldest pharmaceutical company in the world, having been in existence since 1668.
He said the company would continue to support his administration’s ``Save One Million Lives Initiative’’ in every possible way.
He also informed the President that the company, which currently operates in over 60 countries, was also assisting and supporting NAFDAC ``in its efforts to ensure that only genuine drugs and medicines are supplied to Nigerians’’.