Dr Ihekweazu stated this when he led officials of NCDC and the World Health Organisation (WHO) on a courtesy visit to Govrrnor Seyi Makinde in Ibadan.
The NCDC DG pointed out that the visiting team was impressed with the commitment of Governor Makinde and his team across all aspects of response to COVID-19.
“I am happy to be here with the officers in charge of the WHO, and we are really impressed by the commitment of the executive governor and his entire team across all aspects of the response; from the laboratory at UCH, the public health team and the treatment centre that we have seen here,” he said.
Dr Ihekweazu added, “We have seen all components of the response really beginning to come together. We now have to make these things functional, find a way of keeping them going and learn from one another as we progress in this response.
“I am impressed with the commitment of the state government and all the resources in the state. I am happy that people are coming together across the federal and state institutions in Oyo state. And I think working together with WHO’s support, the NCDC support and all aspects of government, we can really create a great example for the country here in Ibadan.
“We have sat together earlier. We discussed, identified and exchanged ideas on some areas that need improvement. The key thing for this treatment centre is to get things started; to get the first set of patients in and try whether the system moves. You can never know how good a house is until someone is living inside. So, we have to bring in the first patients and make sure that everything works fine and we can grow from there.”
NCDC DG added that the centre “will serve Nigeria, not just Oyo state. It will serve the entire country for many years to come for all sorts of infectious diseases, for research, for diagnosis and for care. So, I really look forward to coming back here in a few months and seeing a vibrant centre with staff, patients, researchers and activities happening.
“I leave Oyo state very gratified with the progress made, and I am very grateful for all of you and the good people of the state.”
Receiving the team, Governor Makinde said there is the need for the certification of more testing centres for the state, saying certification of more testing centres in Oyo state would enable the state realise its ambition to ramp up the testing of at least, 10,000 persons for COVID-19 within a short time.
Governor Makinde, while appreciating the NCDC for the job it has been doing nationally since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in Nigeria, stated that Oyo state needed the support of the NCDC to certify more diagnostic centres in the state.