By Nnamdi Ojiego
Make we change am for COVID-19” is the call by leading Nigerian influencers as they push for a return to normal living.
Digital creator, Aproko Doctor, television presenter Morayo Afolabi- Brown and Kannywood actor, Ali Nuhu, are leading a social call for more Nigerians to get vaccinated to save the lives of family, friends and other loved ones.
Commenting on the adverse effect of the virus in Nigeria, public health advocate, Aproko Doctor, highlighted how “COVID-19 is still on the prowl and has indeed flattened lives and many businesses across the country.”
On how the pandemic has affected him personally and professionally, he recalls that “after recording our first case of COVID as a nation in February 2020, little did we know that a lot of things were going to change.
I lost a couple of colleagues to the virus and also experienced increased levels of stress and anxiety. I burnt out once while trying to intensify my efforts on advocacy around prevention and at the same time attending to my patients.
One word I would use to explain how I felt during the height of the pandemic is exhaustion.”
He explained that as an artiste who relies heavily on direct and physical interactions with patients and fans, the effects of the virus have been quite debilitating for the medical sector and social scene in Nigeria.
“We just want to get on with our lives, careers and businesses. So, I encourage my fans to help change the current situation by getting vaccinated to reduce the rate and spread of Covid-19 infections.
Please get vaccinated as soon as you can,” the artiste added.
Lending her voice to the campaign, renowned television presenter, Morayo Afolabi-Brown, stressed her frustration with the rumour mongers, myths and unsubstantiated tales about the origin and effects of COVID-19 vaccines.
She echoes the health experts’ advice, saying: “To change the current COVID-19 situation across the county, the more people get vaccinated, the less spread.
So, taking the vaccine does help in protecting oneself and loved ones from getting seriously ill or dying from the infection”.
Morayo continued: “As a TV presenter, I am privy to breaking news and updates on COVID. I see the alarming numbers reported across the country and the world at large.
It is clear that defeating COVID needs a collective, intentional and decisive action from everyone.
Sadly, I have also lost a few loved ones and acquaintances. It is painful to see them lose the battle to COVID. I urge the public to please seek out the facts readily available about the virus and the vaccines.
“With a population of over 200 million people the government can only do so much. Everyone must participate to help speak the word of taking the vaccine and protecting our loved ones”.
According to Morayo, the vaccines have been made available by renowned scientists, relying on technology advancement that has been scientifically proven – with over 3billion vaccines now administered worldwide.
“If you don’t like this COVID-19 mess, please get vaccinated as soon as you can.”
Another voice advocating the positive impacts of the vaccine is celebrated Kannywood actor, Ali Nuhu, who excitedly said, “Yes, I have taken the vaccine.
I had to take the vaccine for myself, my family and community of actors who also need to be protected especially at shoot locations. COVID-19 is not surrendering easily and we must not be ignorant about this.”
Ali said it is important Nigerians know that Covid-19 isn’t going to stop unless everyone takes responsibility.
“Taking the vaccine has helped in making me feel better protected and I feel safer when I’m in the midst of my community, friends and family who I love dearly, “he said.
The #MakeWeChangeAM campaign is conducted together with Viral Facts Africa, a social content hub launched in March 2021 by the WHO co-hosted initiative, Africa Infodemic Response Alliance, to produce and distribute digital productions to combat health misinformation online.
Since its launch, Viral Facts Africa has produced over 200 videos and graphics in English, French and Portuguese, reaching over 130million views.
According to statistics from Johns Hopkins University and Our World in Data, Nigeria has administered at least 3,967,013 doses of COVID vaccines.
This implied that only 1.42 million Nigerians have been fully vaccinated, representing 0.7 percent of the country’s population.