1. Vaccines save lives, take the leap!

The Ekiti State Government has continually displayed leadership and commitment in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, through several innovative interventions such as the establishment of a molecular laboratory, the use of RDTs for testing, the establishment of Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) in all 16 LGAs, enforcement of Covid-19 regulations and the expansion of sample collection centres.

We currently have over 145 decentralised testing centres across the State (the highest in the country) and are testing capacity has increased daily since July. Given the high rate of testing, it is not unusual to have a higher number of positive cases.

Last week, as part of our mitigation measures, we announced a reinforcement of the compliance to the COVID-19 protocols. More importantly though is the need to get as many people as possible vaccinated. In the chart above, you would note that only one (1) of the 183 confirmed cases had received the vaccine. Even at that only a single shot was received.

This indicates that the more people we get vaccinated, the less likely people fall ill.

Vaccination is a no-brainer. The technology used in developing the mRNA vaccines have been around for a while. They were used in manufacturing the Ebola vaccine and only yesterday, moderna announced the use of mRNA for the production of HIV vaccines. The other vaccine types ( Astra Zeneca, Johnson & Johnson etc) have employed well known and tested technologies to manufacture their vaccines.

The framing that the vaccines were rushed is completely misleading. No steps were skipped in the process of production. Also, inferring that there’s been no long term testing of the vaccines efficacy or effectiveness, is just a nice play on words. Vaccines don’t undergo long term testing, rather they undergo clinical trials, a process which the Covid-19 vaccines underwent.

Like a friend said, you can’t cross a chasm slowly, you leap. A pandemic is a chasm. Vaccination allow us to leap!

2. Proud Alumnus

I made a presentation as a keynote speaker at the scientific conference of the LUTH Association of Resident Doctors (ARD-LUTH). Besides sharing my thoughts on reforming the Nigerian health sector and key lessons from Ekiti State, it was good to reconnect with the CMUL alumni, especially my classmates who left their various engagements to witness my presentation. It was exciting to see everyone looking good and doing amazing in their own right and I couldn’t be prouder to be a CMUL alumnus.

3. Air Peace

Within the past week, I travelled from Abuja to Lagos via Air Peace, and I haven’t plied that route in over a year. Getting onboard the Air Peace flight, I could not help but notice it was a new aircraft. There was a massive screen in the cockpit, soothing ambient lighting, charging ports and it was generally an enjoyable domestic flight. I was pleasantly surprised. Moreso, the flight was on schedule. Donald, the purser on the flight was such an interesting chap, keeping everyone entertained all through.

However, getting back to Abuja via the same airline was not as pleasant. The flight was initially slated for 2:30pm, then got moved to 7:30pm and we ended up not departing until 9pm. No cogent reasons beyond the usual operational reasons. Phew!

Nigeria really needs to crack this issue around punctuality. Maybe, it’s my background as a member of a socio-philanthropic club back in University that has ingrained the need to respect people’s time, but I refuse to accept delays/lateness as a way of life.

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Health Systems Reforms and Health Financing Expert

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Oyebanji Filani

Oyebanji Filani

Health Systems Reforms and Health Financing Expert

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