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Northern Nigeria a ‘high-risk’ for COVID-19 spread —Gates Foundation

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The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation said on Thursday that northern Nigeria remained a high-risk region for the spread of COVID-19 due to its weak primary healthcare system.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Foundation, Mark Suzman, said this at a conference call with select African journalists.

Suzman, who responded to a question on how the pandemic could affect northern Nigeria, said the region remains a high-risk just like any other part of the world with weak healthcare systems.

He said: “We have worked extensively in the North because it is the poorest part of Nigeria. It does have sort of the weakest overall health infrastructure and facilities and that is also why the region has the highest child and maternal mortality rate.

“Those characteristics are shared by several African countries including in the region that is comparable to the challenges in the other parts of the Sahel and other parts of the continent.

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“I don’t think there is anything sort of specific you call out other than the risks are obviously greater when you do have a very weak, underlying primary healthcare structure and system in place.”

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