President Donald Trump’s declaration that the U.S. would halt funding to the World Health Organisation (WHO), has earned him a tongue-lash from Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, the Director General of the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC).
The U.S would be depriving the WHO of roughly 15 percent of its budget with its defunding.
Trump said the WHO has become too "China-centric", criticized the organisation for its handling of the pandemic so far and for pandering to China's whims and caprices.
Trump was widely criticized for his action, undertaken in the middle of a pandemic; and Ihekweazu agrees that the U.S. president is way out of line with his decision.
“We rely on the WHO for guidance, lives are saved because of the work that they do... we don’t have the luxury on the continent to build up all the infrastructure on our own,” Ihekweazu said of Africa’s situation, calling the WHO “critical to our collective survival,” Reuters reports.
He said there will be dire consequences for the rest of the world if the WHO isn't funded at this time.
Ihekweazu said “if the funding to WHO is affected in the way it may be, then there will be a huge price for humanity to pay.”
Jack Ma as the gift that keeps on giving
In a related development, African nations that lack ventilators to treat COVID-19 patients will receive 300 of the machines from the Jack Ma Foundation, an African Union official said on Thursday.
According to Ihekweazu, Nigeria began combating the pandemic with roughly 350 ventilators for its 200 million citizens. It has since received around 100 additional units.
Ma has previously donated protective equipment, test kits and masks to the continent.
Africa’s 54 countries have so far reported fewer than 26,000 confirmed cases of the disease, just a fraction of the more than two million cases reported globally.
However, the WHO has warned that the continent could see as many as 10 million cases in three to six months, according to its tentative model.
Nigeria has reported 873 coronavirus cases at the time of filing this.