Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has been commended by stakeholders in the health sector in Lagos State for sustaining health programs and services and taking them to higher levels in the state. This commendation was given at a one-day townhall meeting organized by Amuwo Odofin Maternal and Child Centre on Wednesday at the Amuwo Odofin Council Secretariat. The meeting was tagged “Come, let us discuss ways to serve you better.” The Director of Service Charter, Dr. Irene Alokha, started with an explanatory message.
It stated that a service charter was introduced in 2012 by the state government to enable Lagos public hospitals to compete favorably with private hospitals in the state. In keeping up with this charter, Dr. Alokha said that the center organized the meeting to get feedback from stakeholders about the areas of service they want the management to improve upon and for the management to update the public innovations by the center. She said that the aim of the meeting was to justify the huge investment the government has made in the health sector, especially in terms of infrastructure and employment of highly skilled staff in the state hospitals.
Medical director says staff must be on the same page.
Stressing the need for collaboration, the medical director of the center in Festac, Dr. Adeiyi Taiwo, said that the center would collapse if the staff of the medical center and members of the public worked at cross purposes. He said that the meeting would ensure that all stakeholders are on the same page on every matter. The then governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, had commissioned the center in 2014. Its aim was to provide excellent medical services to the people of Amuwo Odofin in particular and Lagos State at large, especially in the area of mother and childcare services.
According to him, the center has recorded steady progress in terms of updating its medical equipment and in service delivery. However, he noted that some of the challenges of the center were inadequate personnel and infrastructure. He noted that there was a shortage of members of staff as a result of the migration syndrome. Earlier in January 2023, the chief medical director of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) Ikeja had said that about 150 nurses had resigned from the hospital in three years. This shows that the syndrome was state-wide and, by extension, across the country as medical practitioners seek greener pastures overseas.
Chairman of Amuwo Odofin applauded Sanwo-Olu for his efforts.
At the meeting, a representative from the Ministry of Health at Alausa, Mrs. Joan Oluyemi, urged stakeholders to give feedback. Many of them had spoken positively about the services at the center despite the challenges being faced. But they urged the management of the center to intensify their outreach by reaching out to the outlying areas of the local government. Meanwhile, a documentary was presented to the participants of the meeting to showcase the center’s innovations.
In his remarks, the chairman of Amuwo Odofin Council, Mr. Valentine Braimoh, applauded Sanwo-Olu for his strides in the health sector. He frowned on Nigerians seeking health services outside the country as well and appealed to the Federal Government to reinvest in the health sector. He said that the greatest problem any country can have is to neglect its health sector. “COVID-19 has taught us a very serious lesson that we must plan ahead, think ahead because any ailment can come at any time to ravage the society,” he said.
Braimoh urged councils to replicate the state efforts.
Recalling that before COVID-19 there was Ebola, he stated that some countries have not recovered from the shocks because they were not prepared for them. As he appreciated the governor’s doggedness which has helped the health sector to breathe, he underscored the need for councils to replicate efforts of the state by initiating and supporting health programs. He said that this would prevent people from swarming and congesting state hospitals. According to him, anybody can now visit any state hospital and get the best treatment.
Amuwo Odofin Maternal and Child Centre: Website