I work with the government in Nigeria to prepare the country and its people for the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines

I’m Omon.

I work with the government in Nigeria to prepare the country for the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines – from strengthening healthcare delivery to providing immunization awareness support.

It’s not been an easy time here in Nigeria. A lot of people are suffering from COVID-19 and we need to take a lot of measures to protect the vulnerable – but of course when lockdown was put in place, it put a lot of stress on our working population too.

Convincing people to follow lockdown who have very little and depend on daily work or selling goods at the market to have enough to eat isn’t easy – we’re talking about people’s livelihoods. So, putting lockdowns in place was a major challenge for the government.

Yet, I know all too well from personal experience, how vital it is for us to protect people. I lost a good friend to COVID – he was a doctor working on the front line, doing his best to save lives. I’m more determined than ever to do all I can to protect others like him and support our healthcare systems, so that they are ready to introduce COVID-19 vaccines, and equipped to maintain routine immunization programs

Being ‘vaccine ready’ is an important step – and that’s been happening before COVID. Over the last 8 years, I’ve seen the amazing impact successful health and vaccine programmes have had in Nigeria, particularly for childhood immunisation programmes. History has taught us that vaccines can help eliminate deadly viruses and save millions of lives. Better education and understanding in the grassroots communities are at the heart of that.

Now, as we focus on getting COVID vaccines out, we’re working with the World Health Organization (WHO) to prioritise the most vulnerable, frontline and essential workers – like the health workers and teachers who keep our country going. This is a global effort. We can all be part of the solution and do our part to help end this global pandemic.