As Ogun Tops Mass Vaccination Rating Chart In Nigeria... - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE



Wednesday, December 1, 2021

As Ogun Tops Mass Vaccination Rating Chart In Nigeria...

By Femi Onasanya

The saying that, " if you keep doing something same way, you will keep getting same result" is very true in our daily operations as human beings. This statement applies to every aspect of life- family, career, and even governance. 

The recent rating of Ogun State as the top performing state in mass vaccination ahead of others states is a testament to what can really happen when we approach things creatively.

Truly, many people have come to believe that Covid-19 is real but until recently the very many misinformation about the essence of the vaccine had become a thing of debate at various fora- religious centers, fun centers, offices, among others. Unfortunately, many educated people also hold to the wrong notions in the name of being cautious or being carried away by the wind of fake news.

It was as if the Governor Dapo Abiodun had special "personal" interest in the Covid-19 vaccination with the manner he reads riots act to unvaccinated Ogun residents on November 1 when he formally launched mass vaccination campaign, giving them 60 days ultimatum to do so. 

Many doubting Thomases said that the process cannot work. Some even said, " how on earth will Ogun have enough supply of vaccine to cater for its  seven million residents. "

The  ongoing nationwide mass vaccination campaign, which is being done in conjunction with the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency,  is targeted towards vaccinating 50% of the population to further help in the drive to curtail the pandemic in Nigeria. 

Just few weeks down the line, the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency ( NPHDA) came up with a chart showing top performing states and governors. It gave kudos to Ogun State and its creative Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun for topping the chart ahead of other four performing states and governors.

The chart showed that Zamfara, Oyo, Osun and Ekiti states respectively came behind Ogun State. 

It however, indicated the names of the top five governors as a way of alluding the feats to them for the efforts they put in place, with Governor Dapo Abiodun ahead of others. 

The chart showed that Ogun has vaccinated 3.30 per cent of its population while other states trail behind. For example, Zamfara had 3.21 per cent; Oyo, 3.04 per cent;  Osun, 2.82 per cent; and Ekiti, 2.13 per cent. 

This new record, was not achieved overnight. It is a testament to Governor Abiodun's strides in the health sector since the inception of his administration. It is no news that the health sector has been given a priority in the yearly budget under this dispensation such that has taken it to a height unattainable in the past years. 

The yellow roof initiative of the present administration which describes its infrastructural drive is obvious in the sector with numerous new structures springing up while existing ones are being renovated in various primary healthcare centers across the 236 wards of the state. The same is being done in the state-owned general hospitals, state hospitals and Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital ( OOUTH), Sagamu.

It is on record that the present administration which declared a state of emergency in the health when it came on board had employed a huge number of health workers across various cadres to address the shortage in the workforce which it met on ground. With this, the government believes no health worker will bear unnecessary burden and they will be able to perform optimally in line with international best practices. 

When Covid-19 struck in Nigeria on February 27, 2020, Ogun State was its first port of call where the index case, the Italian man who brought the deadly disease into the country was discovered. The government, despite that it was battling against Lassa fever at that time, swung into action to face Coronavirus head-on. 

The Ministry of Health immediately activated its Emergency Operation Center ( EOC) which is the oldest in the country till date as far as Covid-19 response is concerned. The EOC consists of six pillars, including Risk Communication and Mobilization, Infection Prevention Control ( IPC),  Surveillance, Case Management, Laboratory,  Central Planning and Logistics respectively. 

The Ogun State Government, without delay, set up well its equipped isolation centers in OOUTH, Ikenne and Iberekodo with some others donated by well meaning organisations  and private Individuals to join hands with the government in curtailing the pandemic. These isolation centers were categorized to cater for high risk, and low risk cases  with a fully equipped Intensive Care Unit for critical cases in Abeokuta respectively.

Also, the Prince Dapo Abiodun government put in place the first state-owned molecular laboratory in the country in OOUTH to further enhance the efforts of the existing laboratories in the state as well as the mobile laboratory in Ota axis which was the first of its kind.

Compared to other states which much later recorded Covid-19 cases, Ogun State positive cases stand at 5374  with 80 deaths as at November 29, 2021 considering the effective health management which has been brought to the fore by the government. 

When Nigeria was at the peak of the pandemic, Ogun State was outstanding with the first of its kind life insurance package it approved for its health workers across board. The government went as far as increasing the hazard allowance for health workers by 300 per cent. 

In addition, the community testing for Covid-19 which was carried out across the 20 local government areas of Ogun State and in different locations attracted applause from the Nigeria Center for Disease Control ( NCDC) and other relevant bodies. Till date, Ogun is ceaseless in carrying out Covid-19 tests on residents in its various government health institutions free of charge.

Even the Minister of State for Health, Dr. Olorunibe Mamora, during one of his visits to Ogun State, noted that the entire Federal Ministry of Health can attest to the performance of the Gateway State in the fight against Covid-19, pointing out that the assessment template of the Federal Government for various states revealed that Ogun has done so well.

” I want to tell you that I am satisfied and the entire Federal Ministry of Health is equally satisfied with what Ogun State has been able to do. Basing the assessment on what Ogun has done in terms of response activities to Covid-19, I can affirm that Ogun has done excellently well.

“This is not about Dr. Mamora’s opinion. It is what we know at the Federal Ministry of Health because we have a template for assessment of the performance of the various states. Ogun has done excellently well, ” he said.

Since it has been proven that the only known means out of the woods of Covid-19 pandemic is to have a larger percentage of the population vaccinated. Hence, the need for the intensified efforts and approach of Ogun State Government having invested time, energy, manpower and creativity in containing and curtailing Coronavirus since the index case on February 27,2020. It would, therefore, be out of place if other states surpass the Ogun State Governor and government in this mass vaccination campaign.  

Of a truth, the Prince Dapo Abiodun led government which received commendations from different angles for its laudable roles in the health sector has shown to the world that "what is worth doing at all, is worth doing well." It can, therefore, be said that the future of Ogun health second is brighter than we can imagine. 

-Femi Onasanya, the Press Officer in the Ogun State Ministry of Health, wrote via ( 08084818609)

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