To build stronger health systems and respond to local needs, a pro-health organisation, eHealth Africa has handed over Emergency Operation Centres (EOCs) to both Zamfara and Kebbi states’ governments.
Built and managed by eHealth Africa with support from The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Aliko Dangote Foundation, and others, the handover of the EOC signifies a new phase in the states’ fight against polio, other vaccine preventable diseases as well as other public health issues through effective stakeholders planning, collaboration and institutional strengthening.
A statement issued by the communications manager, eHealth Africa, Judith Owoicho, said the handover ceremonies, which were held in Zamfara and Kebbi states, was a boost to Nigeria’s public health sector and signify fresh drive and vigor for eHealth Africa to support public health interventions and provide underserved communities with tools to lead healthier lives.
The executive director of eHealth Africa, Atef Fawaz, expressed satisfaction on the quality of the state of art Emergency Operations Centres (EOCs), saying the standard of the public health infrastructure is in line with global best practice. He said, in line with the organisation’s mission of building stronger health systems through innovative strategies, eHealth Africa has been leading the establishment of EOCs across Nigeria and other parts of Africa since 2012.
“This experience of over a decade has positioned the organisation to understand and effectively implement an intervention of this magnitude,” he said.
According to him, “This is another milestone in our consistent resolve to support public health stakeholders in effective planning and coordination of emergency preparedness and response especially as Nigeria continues to win the fight against polio and vaccine preventable diseases.”
Also, senior programme manager, Kazeem Balogun, who led the mapping, design and set up of this critical health infrastructure revealed that it took a high level of diligence, resilience and collaborative approach to ensure the good people of Zamfara and Kebbi witnessed this important day. He said, “It was very crucial to secure the support of critical stakeholders especially both the National and State Primary HealthCare Development Agencies, traditional and religious leaders and international partners as their input was instrumental in ensuring successful completion and activation of the emergency centre.”
“It is our standard to always acquire modern day equipment that will facilitate better planning, coordination and effective utilisation of data for informed public health emergency response,” he said.
The manager of the project, Haruna Kaita, later led the governor of Zamfara State, Dr Dauda Lawal and the executive director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Muyi Aina, representatives of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, World Health Organisation (WHO), United Nations International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF), Aliko Dangote Foundation and others through a tour of the centre.