Lagos State Government and the State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi have been presented with special recognition awards by the Nigerian Healthcare Excellence Award (NHEA) in recognition of the outstanding approach at COVID-19 response and management in Nigeria.
While Lagos State Government emerged as the Most Responsive COVID19 State Government of the year at NHEA 2021 which held at the Eko Hotel, Victoria Island at the weekend, Prof. Akin Abayomi bagged the award for the Most Outstanding COVID19 State Health Commissioner of the year.
Abayomi who was on hand to receive both awards at the event themed “Celebrating Our Healthcare Heroes”, dedicated it to all health and frontline workers for their role and sacrifices in the COVID response efforts.
The Commissioner said the State Government has a policy of not receiving any award for COVID19 response because efforts aimed at preventing and managing the global pandemic is still on-going. He noted however that the State government is receiving the NHEA award to acknowledge the bravery of all frontline workers.
He said: “We have a policy not to receive any award on COVID-19 because the disease is still existing but today we are here to acknowledge some of the bravery of all the health front line workers.
“During the battle against COVID; the wave one and the wave two; we lost some our colleagues, we lost 14 health professionals; 12 doctors and two nurses. So just to remember that there are still people dying around the world from COVID.
“We want to say that we really appreciate all the work that has been done by the frontline workers and sacrifices that have been made; during COVID19 some doctors and nurses and professionals never saw their family for four weeks; they were constantly on call working night and day trying to save lives”.
“And to all the healthcare heroes, all of you, these awards are for you, these awards are yours”, Abayomi stated.
He noted that the Lagos State Government is not resting on its oars in the battle against COVID-19 stressing that strategies have been put in place and being implemented to prevent a third wave of the disease in Lagos and Nigeria.
“We have set up a very serious committee for the third wave mitigation and prevention, it is a strategic committee and their mission is to stop Lagos and Nigeria from going into a third wave. They are working very hard behind the scenes to make sure that we can carry on with our economic livelihood”, he explained.
Speaking before the presentation of award to the State Government and the Commissioner, the Chairman Advisory Board of NHEA Dr. Anthony Omolola applauded the Lagos State Government and the Ministry of Health for a well co-ordinated COVID response which helped to flatten the curve of infection.
“We are very proud of how Lagos State Government and Ministry of Health responded to the outbreak of COVID-19”, he said.
Omolola explained that the NHEA is an annual event that celebrates distinguished personalities and organizations who have contributed immensely to the growth of the Nigerian health sector.
He stated that NHEA which started in 2014 has become a high profile event in the healthcare industry, gaining wide acceptance from stakeholders in the healthcare community, public and private sectors. He added that the award is an initiative of Global Health Project and Resources in Partnership with Anadach group.
“Over the years, the NHEA has endeared more awareness on the quality and standards of services provided by various stakeholders in the industry, by inspiring them to adopt International best practices and aspire to be the benchmark for excellent health care service delivery in Nigeria and Africa in general.
“NHEA’s recognition aims to stimulate quality improvement and innovation in the Nigerian health sector leading to improved service delivery & management of key health issues and the capacity of individuals to influence and set new performance standards in Nigeria & beyond”, Omolola said.
At the event three healthcare professionals who had distinguished themselves in various health fields were presented with a Lifetime achievement awards. The awardees are: Gen. Aderonke Kale rtd.; a medical doctor and a consultant psychiatrist who is a pioneer female military personnel and the first female commandant of the Nigeria Army medical corp; Dr John Nwaiwu; a respected pharmacist and one time Deputy Comptroller General of Nigeria Customs Service and Prof. John Idoko, a former Director General of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS.
Present at the event were the Former Commissioner for Health in Ogun State, Dr. Oluokun Soyinka; Representatives of the Secretary to Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha and Minister of State for Health, Dr. Adeleke Mamoora; the Alara of Ara Kingdom, HRM Oba Olubayo Windapo; Stakeholders in the Nigeria Health sector, and representatives of financial institutions.