“Sleep on who? Are you dumb?”
Vaccines save lives, get vaxxed!
Towards the end of July and the first 3 weeks in August, we saw a sharp spike in the number of positive COVID-19 cases in the State. While we acknowledge the fact that our increased testing allowed us pick up more cases, we have had to re-enforce preventive measures and protocols, step up our surveillance, equip private health facilities with Rapid Diagnostic Test kits and scale up other protocols to mitigate spread the spread of COVID-19. Our epidemiological modelling indicates this third wave will begin to wane towards the end of September. Effort to reduce transmission and limit spread must however work in tandem with provision of vaccines to eligible population.
Last week, we received 46,000 doses of the Moderna COVID vaccine and we have swiftly swung into action. Our vaccination teams work 7 days a week across all LGAs, ensuring those who have not been vaccinated at all get their first shot of the Moderna vaccine. This is of course complemented by risk communications and other key pillars of our Emergency Operation Centre. We plan to exhaust our current vaccines as quickly as possible with hopes of receiving an additional batch as was the case last time. The earlier we get 60% of the population in Ekiti vaccinated, the better for us all.
We convert investments to results. Period.
When I resumed office, the only development partners working in Ekiti State were UNICEF and WHO. With their support, we’ve done quite a lot in improving access to high impact health interventions. Partners haveoften overlooked Ekiti State on the basis that our coverage rates (Ante-natal Care, skilled birth attendance, etc) are far higher than national average. Partner investment decisions thus favoured States with poorer coverage rates. In principle that made sense, but I feel it is a narrow way to look at data. My argument has always been, yes, we have better coverage rates, but these have not translated to outcomes. An indication of the quality of care delivered. Technical support from partners can help unlock this.
What’s more, Ekiti has the political will and the technical leadership to demonstrate results. His Excellency Dr John Kayode Fayemi is a development expert, understands the linkages between health and economic growth and has the presence of mind to see the big picture. I on the other hand have got a strong technical capacity (if I do say so myself 🙂) and the conviction of mind to push through with impactful programs and sustainable reforms.
In the last 1 year, we’ve worked hard to get more partner support in the State and it’s pleasing to see that this is bearing fruit. There’s an increased interest to collaborate with us, evidenced by the new relationships we’ve cultivated with the Tekano Group, Global Fund/NACA, USAID, Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology all in the last couple of months.
This is an indicator of confidence in what we do and what we plan to achieve. We’re definitely doing something right and we look forward to doing much more as we work together to convert investments to results!
Whew! Time flies?
While I would love to say “It feels just like yesterday since I became Commissioner…” I won’t because it doesn’t feel like yesterday. LOL.
The 31st of August will mark 12 months since I was sworn in as Commissioner by His Excellency Dr John Kayode Fayemi, and a lot has happened. I’ve learned and experienced a good lot but most importantly, it’s been a great ride serving my people. I will be sharing 12 lessons I’ve learned in 12 months and if you are interested in knowing them, kindly watch this space.