Mohammed Atiku, son of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, has recovered from the Coronavirus (COVID-19) disease to which he tested positive last month.
Mohammed, who spent 40 days in the hospital, was finally cleared and discharged on Monday.
In a statement he personally signed after he left the hospital, Mohammed thanked Nigerians for the support and prayers, urging them to keep praying for those still being treated for the pandemic that had killed 40 Nigerians.
He said that his discharge could not have come at a better time than in the month of Ramadan, a season marked by sacrifice and supplication to the Almighty Allah.
“I thank the Almighty Allah for my recovery from the dreaded infection and also wish to express my sincere and deep appreciation to Nigerians for their prayers and goodwill while I was being treated.
“In the course of life, we have no idea of what will happen to us because only the Almighty God knows our future.
“When COVID-19 first broke out in far away China, I had no idea that I might be one of those to be infected. This is one of the everlasting lessons I can’t forget for the rest of my life.
“I have been humbled by this experience. Words cannot sufficiently convey the depth of my joy over my recovery and discharge.
“Since I tested positive after my return from abroad and my isolation for treatment, I was inundated with incredible expressions of goodwill by Nigerians.
“This pandemic has united the rich and the poor and, indeed, the rest of the world against this novel lethal virus that has caused economic and social disruptions globally.
“No matter our problems, however, we shouldn’t lose hope in our own country. Despite the limitations of our health system, the Federal Ministry of Health and Nigeria Centre for Disease Control have done tremendously well.
“Our doctors, nurses and other front line health workers also deserve accolades for their sacrifices and professionalism during this challenging period of our country.
“Every epidemic or pandemic comes with its lessons. The coronavirus has caught the world off guard and sent us reeling for solutions. It also reveals the weaknesses of our health systems in the developing world. It is an eye opening experience for Nigeria and other developing nations.
“Thanks to coronavirus outbreak, we are now coming to terms with the necessity of adequate funding of our healthcare system. This disease has brought the rich, the poor and the powerful to a common level.
“This is the time our policy makers should reset our national priorities and give our health system adequate attention. No investment in our health sector is too much.”
Mohammed recalled that in October 2016, Dr Osagie Ehanire, then Minister of State for Health and currently the Minister of Health, was quoted as saying that Nigeria was spending a whopping 1 billion dollars annually on medical tourism abroad.
“That revelation is a reminder of the urgent need to mobilise resources towards upgrading our health system at home in order to render medical tourism almost unnecessary. It is time to restore confidence in our own health system. This can only be achieved by adequate investment and funding.”
Mohammed appealed to policy makers to adequately fund researches in vaccines and other drugs because of the uncertainties and challenges like the coronavirus.
As at Sunday, April 26, some 3 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been recorded globally with about 900,000 recoveries.
Some 200,000 people have passed away as a result of the pandemic.
In Nigeria, 1,273 cases have been recorded across 32 states and the FCT, with 40 deaths as at Monday, April 27.