As part of precautionary measures, the Lagos State Government is working on developing an infectious disease research centre to enable local researchers develop vaccines in response to epidemics.
Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu made this known on Wednesday during the Lagos State Occupational Safety and Health Conference to commemorate the 2021 World Day for Safety.
The governor, represented by Mr Tayo Bamgbose-Martins, the state Commissioner for Special Duties and Intergovernmental Relations, said the research centre would ensure medical provisions’ availability to tackle illnesses.
According to him, the state was investing significantly in the health sector toward putting strategic measures in place to respond to future emergencies with socio-economic impacts.
He said that leading role of the state toward developing capacity within its health infrastructure against Ebola virus set the foundation for structures to deal responsively with the COVID-19 pandemic.
”The experience we had in curtailing the Ebola virus in Lagos provides us with knowledge which we were able to leverage upon in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
”We were able to quickly activate the system that was in place and build upon it to match the various dimensions that the coronavirus presented as a pandemic,” he said.
The governor assured that the state would continue to work tirelessly to make Lagos safe and secure for all residents by developing a virile health and safety system responsive for any emergency.
”With challenges in the health sector in the face of this global pandemic, we are now more resolute and committed to developing a health system that is more efficient and responsive in dealing with any epidemic or pandemic that may occur in the future.
”In Lagos, we have put in place strategies and initiatives to ensure delivery of safety measures ahead of whatever crisis we might be confronted with in any sector of the economy,” he said.
Sanwo-Olu commended the Lagos State Safety Commission (LSSC), saying it had been instrumental to the management of COVID-19, by providing additional safety guidelines.
He also commended strategic efforts of the commission in the enforcement of safety guidelines in ensuring that the pandemic did not hit hard on the state.
The governor said that World Safety Day, was a platform for enlightenment on safety measures to develop responsive systems to cope with new realities.
In a keynote address, the LSSC Director-General, Mr Lanre Mojola, emphasised the need for countries to put health and safety systems in place to eliminate unsafe conditions and practices.
Mojola said that as a responsive government, the state had the responsibility to provide regulations and laws required to ensure that workers could discharge their duties in a safe and conducive manner.
According to him, the commission will continue to spread the message of safety.
“It is only a safer Lagos that can guarantee attainment of a greater Lagos,” he said.
He said that COVID-19 had given rise to numerous challenges globally and put to test, existing protocols on safety and health on the workplace.
He added that governments, organisations and workers had been forced to think outside the box and develop new methods of work to remain productive and adjust to new realities.