- We were first to commence State-wide awareness sensitization even before February 27th when the first case was recorded in the country, using the already existing Lassa fever structure on ground. At that point other parts of the country were busy in the belief that Covid-19 could never enter Nigeria.
- We were among the first States to impose restriction on movement, close down schools, ban religious gatherings and gathering of people greater than 30, at a time when even the two States and FCT that had cases were still contemplating doing so.
- We were also the first to relax restrictions and lift ban on religious gatherings which was met with widespread criticism across the Country. Today, same is being done across the Federation at a time when one would have thought the lockdown was needed the most considering the growing Statistics of the pandemic in the Country.
- We were first to identify the need for Rapid Test Kits in the Country amidst criticisms from various quarters. Gradually they are beginning to understand the need for it and adopting its use where the need arises.
- We decentralised testing to all public facilities, began deploying test kits to all public facilities including Primary Health Care centers for rapid evaluation of those at risk, which is currently still being criticised. We are convinced that just like the others before it, it will be adopted soonest.
- We developed a risk assesment App. which received a lot of tongue lashing and criticism from Nigerians. Today this same idea has been adopted by the Federal Ministry of Health and other States as well.
- We developed a state independent Covid-19 prevention, control and treatment protocol tailored to reflect the peculiarities and uniqueness of our State while others were in a rush to import foreign protocols that was not sustainable in a setting like ours. We survived the heavy criricisms, vendetta and campaigns of calumny yet again, and today Nigerians know better that those imported protocols are not sustainable and we are having to switch back to what fits us as a people.
The thing about most critics and their criticisms is like the case of spectators of a football match who high up from their stand or far away from their TV screens believe they can see errors the players can not see. It is easy to criticise when the decisions are not yours to make!
Finally, "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident"- (Arthur Schopenhauer)
Dr Saka Haruna Audu
Honourable Commissioner for Health