That confidence in the public healthcare system has been eroded significantly across the country for the past few decades is not in doubt. A lot of Nigerians whether in Lagos or elsewhere in the country prefer to patronize private hospitals.
To change the status quo, Governor Babajide Sanwo-olu made the healthcare sector integral part of his THEMES agenda. To underscores his commitment to revamping the healthcare sector, there is this deliberate effort by the state government not to only improve the facilities and make it accessible to the teeming Lagos residents, people oriented programmes are sustained in its healthcare system.
This measure overtime has encouraged many of the residents of the state to continue to patronize the state’s general hospitals. The number of births being recorded in the state’s general hospitals daily remained a clear attestation of people’s confidence in Lagos State government hospitals.
Very recently, the wife of the Lagos State Governor, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu welcomed and presented gifts items to the first babies of the year in three state-owned hospitals namely; Maternal Child Centre (MCC) Eti-Osa, Ebute-Metta General Hospital and the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) ,Ikeja.
Baby Ayinde, a male who weighed 3.1Kg delivered at exactly 12:01AM by Mrs. Ayinde was the first baby of the year at the Eti-Osa Maternal Child Centre (MCC). Baby Iromain, a female who weighed 2.9Kg and delivered at 12:02AM by Mrs. Iromain was the first baby of the year at Ebute-Metta General Hospital, while the first babies of year at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja were triplets delivered through Cesarean Section by Mrs. Olufoye. The first child, a female, weighed 2.2kg and was delivered at exactly 12:07am; the second child, a male who weighed 2kg was delivered at 12:08am while the third child, a female who weighed 2.1kg was delivered by 12:09 am.
Welcoming the first babies at these hospitals, Mrs. Sanwo-Olu, a medical personnel stated that welcoming newborns is a symbolic and significant event that brings forth the assurance that human heritage is carried on to the next generation.
She said: “The gift of a new baby is a priceless one from God Almighty and as with a lot of cultures, across the world, the birth of a child brings good fortune to society. We are here today not just to celebrate new life but also to seek opportunities to make a difference in the lives of the people who need our assistance. Bearing in mind always that our show of love, kindness and compassion is only an extension of gratitude to our maker for the same grace granted to us”.
While noting that the Lagos State government through the Health ministry has continued to deliver its mandate of providing qualitative and efficient health care services to all residents in the state, the governor’s wife disclosed that the state government has over the years strengthened its maternal and child health policies and programmes to reduce maternal, child and infant mortality.
She noted the implementation of the maternal and child health policies, strategies and programmes is evident with the improved maternal and child health indices being recorded in the state, adding that the upgrading and construction of new Maternal and Child Care (MCC) facilities towards the provision of accessible and affordable mother and child services, is geared towards reducing the high morbidity and mortality among women and under-five children in the state.
“I wish to commend the health family for the continuing infrastructural upgrade; provision of relevant equipment, positive attitudinal change in our workers, and human capacity development, all leading to some measure of efficiency and effectiveness in service delivery and enhanced customer satisfaction. I also wish to acknowledge the efforts of the hospital management in the provision of a conducive and serene environment for the delivery of healthcare services in these hospital”, Dr. Sanwo-Olu said.
She commended all philanthropists, corporate bodies, Non-governmental organizations and civil society groups involved in any form of partnership towards complimenting the vision and efforts of the state government in the health sector.
She said: “I will implore and encourage others out there to come on board to join the state government as there are more services and projects available for adoption and support. As we are excited that your bundles of joy have finally arrived safe and sound, I once again, congratulate the parents of these babies. I pray that the newborns are blessed with good health and long life to grow up to become useful citizens who will make our dear State and country proud in the future”.
The commissioner for Health, Professor Akin Abayomi who appreciated the wife of the Lagos State Governor, Dr.(Mrs) Claudiana Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu for sustaining the annual First Baby of the Year event, stated that the state government has been very supportive and committed to the welfare and wellbeing of mothers and children especially with regards to quality, efficient and accessible health service delivery in Lagos State.
Abayomi explained further that the present administration under the leadership of Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu remains committed to the reduction of maternal and child morality adding that available statistics has shown that the maternal and child health indices in Lagos is improving.
“It is quite obvious and imperative to state that the state government under the leadership of the visionary Mr. Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, is committed to the reduction of maternal, neonatal and child morbidity and mortality rate.”
“This event is one of the special events through which the Lagos State government is showing commitment and support to the wellbeing of mothers and children and I am proud of the Lagos State Health family for doing wonderfully well in providing quality healthcare service delivery to the populace”, the commissioner said.
He however urged all residents to get enrolled in the Lagos Health Insurance Scheme popularly called Ilera Eko for access to quality and efficient health care services, adding that the residents can get enrolled at the health insurance desk in all General Hospitals and Flagship Primary Health Care Centres across the state.
For the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr. Olusegun Ogboye the Lagos State government will not relent in putting in place policies and strategies geared towards the development of health care services in line with best practices around the world.
Ogboye however urged all traditional and community leaders in Lagos to work with the management and staff of the public health facilities for protection of the health personnel and health infrastructure in their communities from attack whenever there is a problem in the society.
“We urged our traditional and community leaders to work with the management and staff of the health facilities in your community. Please we would like to ask you to help in protecting our health facilities and personnel from attack whenever there is a problem in the community. They are medical doctors, they are your brothers and sisters and they want to work,” he said.