COVID-19: The effects and success of managing the pandemic will likely affect every facet of human life.
Despite the concern that many developing countries would struggle to contain the pandemic, initial forecasts show that Nigeria has performed creditably well and surpassed expectations. Infections rates were reduced, diagnostic laboratories were created in record time, effective risk communication was developed and donor coordination was carried out to maximise the response effort.
This is the story behind these achievements. The story of a group of Nigerians - epidemiologists, consultants, youth corps, doctors, statisticians, maintenance staff, lab attendants and many more - who risked their lives every day at the forefront of the war against COVID-19.
It is the story of a little-known government agency The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) that quickly became the nerve centre of the response effort and was responsible for collating data and providing the government with necessary data-driven advice to drive decision-making. But, above all, it is the story of the Nigerian resilience, the success, the engagements, the support received, the commitment to working 24/7, and the drive to keep going, to keep striving…to keep pushing.
Documenting this story, and the important role that it will play in telling the response in one of the world’s most populated countries is what drove the interest to document this project.
This came with two unique challenges. Firstly, there was a small Communications Team with multiple competing priorities including building the agency's branding, and a better approach for visual documentation, thus some activities were prioritized over others in the initial years. Secondly, posterity required that sufficient coverage was made to support future generations of decision-makers who might need to learn from this experience for future challenges. The challenges outlined, the opportunity presented, and the confidence that the skillset matched the required output was what drove IKP studios to engage with this. The result is one that the experience is proud to share - Afolabi Adekaiyaoja