As film on COVID-19 response in Nigeria premieres
By Sola Ogundipe
Towards mitigating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria, the Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele, are leading a conversation around collaboration between the public and private sectors to develop a robust and effective public health care system.
The conversation, which holds on Friday, May 7 at the Civic Centre, Lagos, will also feature the Speaker of the House of Representatives., Mr Femi Gbajabiamila; the National Coordinator of the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19, Dr. Sani Aliyu; the Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, among a host of other eminent personalities.
The event is sequel to the premiere of a documentary on the management of the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria titled Unmasked: Leadership, Trust and Covid-19 in Nigeria.
A collaborative work between Daria Media and Zuri24 Media, the documentary, produced/directed by Femi Odugbemi and co-produced/presented by Kadaria Ahmed, features interviews and insights from the medical, political, and financial sectors of society that are at the forefront of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its fall out.
People who have encountered the virus in different ways will also feature.
Vanguard gathered that the documentary was released in March, and first screened at the 2021 iREP International Documentary Film Festival to critical acclaim by an international audience comprising filmmakers, media scholars, students, and film enthusiasts across four continents.
The conversation will focus on issues thrown up by the documentary, specifically, it will centre on how the public and private sector can collaborate for the development of a robust and effective public health care system.
In a statement, the producer/director, Femi Odugbemi, who gave insight into the context in which the conversation will hold after the documentary stated: “The Covid-19 pandemic has turned the world on its head and hit the world’s most populous black nation Nigeria with predictable ferocity.
“With its soft underbelly of corruption, poor healthcare infrastructure, weak systems, and an ever-increasing number of its population below the poverty line, the impact of COVID-19 pandemic has been substantial, but could this also be an opportunity for a reset?”
On her own part, the moderator who is co-producer/presenter of the documentary, Kadaria Ahmed, noted: “It is the hope of the producers of the documentary that beyond
documenting the Nigerian story of Covid, Unmasked acts as a catalyst for a conversation on shortcomings in our public health sector that were unmasked by Covid.“
Subsequent screening of the documentary will also take place in Kano, Ibadan, Kaduna, and Port Harcourt. where the conversations will revolve around the training and retention of medical personnel in Nigeria and the provisions of basic health care as a prerequisite for the development of robust human resources.
Others expected at the event include the Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof Akin Abayomi; Kaduna State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Amina Mohammed-Baloni; renowned WHO Consultant Virologist, Prof. Oyewale Tomori, among a host of others; Investigative Journalism, FIJ, among others.