Buhari Unveils Reconstructed Ayinke House, Nigeria’s Biggest Maternity Hospital

Buhari Unveils Reconstructed Ayinke House, Nigeria’s Biggest Maternity Hospital

…Commissions 500-Seater Lagos Theatre

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday unveiled the newly reconstructed Institute of Maternal And Child Health popularly known as Ayinke House located within the premises of Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) in Ikeja, describing it as a critical and timely intervention by the State Government in the health sector.

The newly commissioned Institute of Maternal and Child Health (Ayinke House) with facilities at LASUTH, Ikeja, on Wednesday, April 24, 2019.
The newly commissioned Institute of Maternal and Child Health (Ayinke House) with facilities at LASUTH, Ikeja, on Wednesday, April 24, 2019.

Ayinke House, which is Nigeria’s biggest Maternity Hospital, was upgraded from an 80-bed facility to a 170-bed healthcare centre with state-of-the-art medical equipment, as well as information technology services.

Aside the entourage of the President which included Ministers and Special Advisers, Governors of Ogun (Ibikunle Amosu ), Oyo (Abiola Ajimobi), Ondo (Oluwarotimi Akeredolu), Ekiti (Kayode Fayemi), Jubrila Bindow, Adamawa, Acting Governor of Edo State, Philip Shaibu; Lagos State Governor-Elect, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, Dr Obafemi Hamzat; Oba  of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu, among others were in attendance.

 President Muhammadu Buhari (2nd left), with Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (left), inspecting the facilities in the newly commissioned Institute of Maternal and Child Health (Ayinke House), LASUTH, Ikeja, on Wednesday, April 24, 2019.
President Muhammadu Buhari (2nd left), with Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (left), inspecting the facilities in the newly commissioned Institute of Maternal and Child Health (Ayinke House), LASUTH, Ikeja, on Wednesday, April 24, 2019.

The President, who landed at the Presidential Wing of Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja at about 10: 45am, arrived at Ayinke House about 15 minutes later, after which he unveiled the project, and also embarked on comprehensive tour of the facility.

Speaking at the event, the State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode described the development as historic, expressing optimism that the facility would provide world class childbirth and maternal care services to Lagosians and Nigerians at large.

Recalling how the journey began, Governor Ambode said the facility was commissioned exactly 29 years ago, with the late businessman and philanthropist, Sir Mobolaji Bank-Anthony donating the first dedicated maternal and child care facility to the State Government, in memory of his mother; hence the christened name “Ayinke House”.

The newly commissioned Institute of Maternal and Child Health (Ayinke House) with facilities at LASUTH, Ikeja, on Wednesday, April 24, 2019.
The newly commissioned Institute of Maternal and Child Health (Ayinke House) with facilities at LASUTH, Ikeja, on Wednesday, April 24, 2019.

He said the hospital, which started with just one surgical theatre soon assumed a life of its own as a first-class childbirth and maternal care centre in the health sector of Nigeria as well as first choice for expectant mothers.

However, the Governor said the hospital later became over-stretched beyond capacity and somehow obsolete, while in recognition of the need to sustain Bank-Anthony’s philanthropy, the State Government, during the administration of former Governor Babatunde Fashola who is now the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, awarded the contract for the expansion and reconstruction of the facility.

The newly commissioned Institute of Maternal and Child Health (Ayinke House) with facilities at LASUTH, Ikeja, on Wednesday, April 24, 2019.
The newly commissioned Institute of Maternal and Child Health (Ayinke House) with facilities at LASUTH, Ikeja, on Wednesday, April 24, 2019.

“Today, seven years after the closure of the facility, the new edifice is now a 170-bed facility with 5 surgical theatres. It has a 16-bed emergency care units with 3 organ support facilities, 30 bed special baby care unit, 5 neo-natal intensive care units, a fully equipped laboratory with support services, laboratories and a blood bank.

“Beyond the significance for the health sector, this institute is a major contribution to our education sector also; as it becomes a veritable platform for our medical students in the State University to enhance their exposure and experience with the top-class medical equipment provided,” Governor Ambode said, just as he revealed that Ayinke House had also been completely digitalised with state-of-the-art medical equipment as well as information technology services supported by the State Ministry of Science and Technology.

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He said in view of President Buhari’s determination of making universal and basic primary healthcare as one of the cardinal priorities of his administration, the State Government, under him, had consciously worked to bring quality, affordable and modern healthcare to all our citizenry, among other initiatives in the health sector.

“Just last year, we launched the Lagos State Health Insurance scheme to allow residents access top quality medical care with a little contribution and support from the State government.

“These and other efforts are directed at improving the lives of our people, especially the women and children; and by extension the productivity of our nation,” he said.

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While congratulating President Buhari on his resounding victory at the recent presidential election, Governor Ambode thanked him for finding time to personally commission Ayinke House and other projects in the State, adding that the completion of the projects would not have been possible without the President’s support, administrative direction and encouragement.

Besides, Governor Ambode commended the Management and Staff of the State’s Ministry of Health, Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, LASUTH as well as contractors for working round the clock and their enthusiasm in getting the project completed.

Similarly, the President also commissioned the 500-seater Lagos Theatre in Oregun, Ikeja. The ultra modern theatre is one of the four simultaneously constructed by the Ambode administration to increase arts spaces and create standard platforms for talented citizens of the State to showcase their skills.

The President who arrived the venue at exactly 11:30am was treated to a live dance performance by a young group of talented artist before taking his leave.

The Governor said the three other theatres with the same specifications are also ready for commissioning in Igando, Badagry and Epe.

Keynote Address Delivered By Governor Akinwunmi Ambode At The Launch Of The Lagos State Health Insurance Scheme

Keynote Address Delivered By Governor Akinwunmi Ambode At The Launch Of The Lagos State Health Insurance Scheme

As you may be aware, the Lagos State Health Scheme was established by Law No.4 of May, 2015. This law was inspired by Government’s desire to provide access to affordable and quality Healthcare Services to all residents of Lagos.

The job of implementing this law fell on our administration and for the past Three and Half years we have been working on the implementation of this delicate but very important scheme. I can assure you that providing a Health Insurance Scheme for all residents of Lagos State is a tough task but one we were committed to executing.

We were committed to implementing this programme because the welfare of all Lagosians is of paramount interest to us and we came into office with a promise to make Lagos work for all.

I am delighted that we have fulfilled that promise and are gathered at this historic and momentous occasion today for the formal launch of the Lagos State Insurance Health Scheme. It is historic because it marks a distinct milestone in the State Government’s effort to ensure the sustained provision of a critical social service to our teeming Lagos population.

The overall goal of this scheme is to ensure that all residents of the State have unhindered access to sustainable, quality and affordable healthcare services with financial risk protection including subsidy from government subsidy.

Since the passage of the Law, the Ministry of Health and the Lagos State Health Management Agency established by the Lagos State Health Law as the regulator of the Scheme, have been working with several Local and International Technical Partners to design the scheme in line with the requirements of the law and best practices driven by our local needs, experiences and technological developments. This effort was time consuming but necessary to ensure we give the good people of Lagos a Healthcare Scheme that is fit for purpose and sustainable.

It is a known fact that out of pocket payment for healthcare deters access to Health Services especially for indigents and other vulnerable persons in our society. This situation contributes to increased morbidity and mortality with the resultant adverse effect on the human capital development and economic prosperity of Lagos.

To ensure that the indigent and vulnerable, who are most susceptible to the difficulties of out of pocket payments for healthcare, are enrolled into the Lagos State Health Scheme, we have set aside 1% of the State’s consolidated revenue in the 2018 budget for this purpose.

By Law, this scheme is mandatory for all residents of the State. That is the trend nationwide. The process of identifying and registering the beneficiaries has commenced in a number of our developing communities whose residents are mostly indigent.

The Government has also made provision for all State and Local Government workers and their nuclear families to be enrolled into the Scheme at a subsidized rate.

This scheme will deliver significant benefits to the economy of the State. Beyond ensuring we have a healthy population, this scheme will foster inclusion and increase in the utilization of hospital services thereby creating employment opportunities for medical professionals which will definitely have a positive impact on the economy of our State.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Lagos State Health Scheme has come to stay. Robust mechanisms have been put in place to ensure transparency in its operations and in the management of funds. These will help to ensure this initiative outlives any government administration.

We intend to continue to commit resources to improve our medical facilities and enhance the scope of coverage. However, the State Government cannot do this alone. I therefore call on our partners in the Private Sector to see the LSHS as an effective vehicle to positively impact their communities.

I encourage corporate bodies, high net-worth individuals, government agencies, multilaterals and NGO’s to adopt vulnerable groups of persons by funding their healthcare coverage.  It will be an investment which will yield incalculable dividends because every life saved could be a very valuable member of society and potential leader.

I enjoin all Lagosians to embrace this scheme which aligns with global best practice in healthcare financing. With this scheme, every Lagosian, no matter your socio-economic status, is guaranteed access to quality healthcare service.

Just last week, President Muhammadu Buhari, through the Chairman of the National Economic Council, the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, launched the Human Capital Development Programme with the theme, “Healthy, Educated and Productive Nigerians for a Globally Competitive Nation vision by 2030’. The programme focused on three main areas; health and nutrition, education and labour force participation.

This ties in with what we have done here today. This is what our great party, All Progressives Congress stands for. Our gubernatorial candidate, Jide Sanwoolu, is also committed to this initiative. His presence and that of his running mate is a clear indication of our doctrine of continuity in governance.

I urge all Lagosians to ensure that this people-oriented scheme is sustained by voting wisely and voting continuity.

Today, we have laid another brick into that building that is the Lagos of our dreams. I enjoin you to continue to work with us to make this dream a reality.

Thank You and God bless you all

Itesiwaju eko lo jewa logun.

Canadian Governor-General, Payette, Governor Ambode Unveil Lagos Biobank Lab

Canadian Governor-General, Payette, Governor Ambode Unveil Lagos Biobank Lab

The Governor-General of Canada, Rt. Hon. Julie Payette and Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Tuesday jointly unveiled a Biobank Laboratory in Lagos designed to ensure effective management of outbreak of infectious diseases with special focus on containment and strengthening of capacity to prevent, detect and respond to all manner of threats.

The Biobank, which is located within the premises of Mainland Hospital, Yaba, was delivered through a partnership between Lagos State Government and the Canadian government which contributed a total of $4.5million to the project.

Speaking at the unveiling ceremony, Payette said the partnership was underscored by the West Africa Ebola outbreak which brought the need for countries to intensify cooperation and coordination to prevent the spread of diseases and to effectively counter epidemics to the fore.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (2nd right), with Governor-General of Canada, Rt. Hon Julie Payette (2nd left); Canadian Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Lt. Gen. Andrew Leslie (left) and Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris (right) during the commissioning of the Biosecurity Laboratory at the Mainland Hospital, Yaba, Lagos, on Tuesday, October 30, 2018.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (2nd right), with Governor-General of Canada, Rt. Hon Julie Payette (2nd left); Canadian Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Lt. Gen. Andrew Leslie (left) and Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris (right) during the commissioning of the Biosecurity Laboratory at the Mainland Hospital, Yaba, Lagos, on Tuesday, October 30, 2018.

She specifically commended the State Government and those who worked hard to contain the 2014 Ebola outbreak in Lagos, saying the facility would better equip the State to mitigate post-Ebola threats, among other threats of diseases.

According to Payette: “I must say I had a thought knowing that we were coming here to open such an important facility; a facility to prevent, detect and respond to about the worst calamities possible outcomes that could happen.

“The incidence of infectious disease if not contained could do so much damage and could ravage so many lives. It is not important, it is absolutely essential to have a facility like this to make sure that it never happens.

“As serious as the outbreak was here in Nigeria and elsewhere in West Africa, it could have been much more or worse and so, Canada is very glad to have filled that gap with you with this laboratory and Bio-bank,” she said.

Speaking further, Payette assured that her country would continue to partner with the Nigerian government to contain infectious diseases and other treatments, noting that Ebola was still a deadly disease worldwide.

“We will continue to collaborate with you in this important effort; we also work in Canada in our microbiology laboratories to contain other infectious disease and still working on Ebola and other treatments. The disease is very deadly still, we have experimental treatments that are now coming up so that the possibility that we can cure or treat diseases better is in front of us and we have to continue toward that goal so that diseases like Ebola does not anymore mean a death sentence,” the Governor General said.

On his part, Governor Ambode said delivery of the project was a perfect example of a forward-looking and community-development collaboration undertaken by Lagos State Government and the Canadian government, adding that with the facility, the public healthcare delivery in the State had moved to higher level.

“With this Biolab, I want to publicly admit that public healthcare in our State has been raised to another level and it is to the benefit of our people.

“This project was initiated in 2016 because of a joint focus and commitment in improving the management of infectious diseases not only in Lagos but in Nigeria as a whole and we are very clear in our mind that this facility will help our public health practitioners to promptly diagnose diseases of public health importance and boost the clinical management of such outbreaks,” Governor Ambode said.

The newly commissioned Biosecurity Laboratory at the Mainland Hospital, Yaba, Lagos, on Tuesday, October 30, 2018.
The newly commissioned Biosecurity Laboratory at the Mainland Hospital, Yaba, Lagos, on Tuesday, October 30, 2018.

Giving details of funding of the project, the Governor said the Canadian government, through its Global Partnership Program (GPP), funded the design and the construction of the laboratory, while the Lagos State Government covered the cost of training of personnel, maintenance of the laboratory as well as the community engagement and the environmental impact assessment, among other ancillary activities.

“This is a partnership that works and we are very excited that this is the first of its kind in Nigeria and we are very proud that the Canadian government has actually deemed it fit to lead in this particular course.

“This Biolab will boost effective clinical management of public health outbreaks and launch the State into a new frontier in research and development in various areas of need especially diagnostic kits and production of vaccines for effective prevention and containment strategy against highly infectious diseases.

“Biological and environmental samples for life science and medical research will be stored in this Biobank. The facility will also create an enabling framework for local and international collaboration to fast-track research and discovery that will accelerate solutions to global public health concerns,” Governor Ambode said, just as he revealed that the State Government had approved the engagement of a consultant and technical personnel to facilitate the smooth implementation of the project.

While urging other institutions and multi-lateral agencies to emulate the Canadian government by adopting a socially-motivated and community-beneficial partnership, the Governor also said Lagos was open for further collaborations and investments.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (2nd right), with Governor-General of Canada, Rt. Hon Julie Payette (2nd left); Canadian Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Lt. Gen. Andrew Leslie (left) and Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris (right) during the commissioning of the Biosecurity Laboratory at the Mainland Hospital, Yaba, Lagos, on Tuesday, October 30, 2018.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (2nd right), with Governor-General of Canada, Rt. Hon Julie Payette (2nd left); Canadian Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Lt. Gen. Andrew Leslie (left) and Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris (right) during the commissioning of the Biosecurity Laboratory at the Mainland Hospital, Yaba, Lagos, on Tuesday, October 30, 2018.

“We want to call on other responsible and committed multi-lateral agencies to help and also contribute immensely to the growth and development of Lagos State and the welfare of its people.

“We are willing to partner with Canadian government and Canadian businessmen. What we have tried as much as possible to do as a government is to lay more emphasis on judicial and security sector reforms ensuring that all foreign citizens and corporate interests that come into this country actually have comfortable security and have enabling environment to be able to do all that they consent to do in terms of investment.

“Beyond what it is that you have done for us today, I just want to extend that hand of fellowship that we can partner to extend investment opportunities to Canadian companies to Lagos, and by so doing, we grow the GDP of Lagos and Nigeria,” the Governor said.

The Lagos State Biobank has two Biosafety Level Laboratories known as BSL 2 and 3 with capacity to process and rapidly identify samples suspected for Ebola, Lassa fever and other infectious diseases with epidemic potential.

Mrs. Bolanle Ambode, COWLSO Donate Transport Incubator Ambulances And Portable Otoread Equipment To General Hospitals In Lagos

Mrs. Bolanle Ambode, COWLSO Donate Transport Incubator Ambulances And Portable Otoread Equipment To General Hospitals In Lagos

…restates commitment to zero infant mortality in Lagos

Wife of the governor of Lagos State, Bolanle Ambode, has said that no effort would be spared, to achieve zero infant mortality in the state.

She made the commitment during the donation of two transport incubator ambulance to Gbagada General Hospital and Lagos Island Maternity, by the Committee of Wives of Lagos State Officials (COWLSO), as part of their health intervention project for this year.

A transport incubator ambulance is specially designed to transport ‘pre-mature’ babies to standard medical facilities, equipped with Intensive Care Unit, ICU.

Bolanle noted that members of the committee were touched by the high mortality rate of pre-term babies, occurring before they could access intensive care.

The transport incubators according to her, would provide a womb-like environment for the baby, with the right temperature and life-saving gadgets, to help the newborn hang unto life till it gets to the ICU.

Wife of Lagos State Governor/Chairman, Committee of Wives of Lagos State Officials (COWLSO), Mrs. Bolanle Ambode (2nd right); Medical Director, Gbagada General Hospital, Dr. Tayo Lawal (right); representative of Commissioner for Health, Dr. (Mrs.) Olufunmi Taiwo (2nd left); Commissioner IV, Health Service Commission, Mrs. Kemi Ogunyemi (left) and representative of Chairman, Health Service Commission, Dr. Tokunbo Oluwole (middle), inspecting an incubator during the donation of Two Transport Incubator ambulance and Portable Otoread equipment to Four General Hospitals in the State by COWLSO as part of its annual Health Intervention Project for 2018, at the Gbagada General Hospital, on Wednesday, 10 October, 2018.
Wife of Lagos State Governor/Chairman, Committee of Wives of Lagos State Officials (COWLSO), Mrs. Bolanle Ambode (2nd right); Medical Director, Gbagada General Hospital, Dr. Tayo Lawal (right); representative of Commissioner for Health, Dr. (Mrs.) Olufunmi Taiwo (2nd left); Commissioner IV, Health Service Commission, Mrs. Kemi Ogunyemi (left) and representative of Chairman, Health Service Commission, Dr. Tokunbo Oluwole (middle), inspecting an incubator during the donation of Two Transport Incubator ambulance and Portable Otoread equipment to Four General Hospitals in the State by COWLSO as part of its annual Health Intervention Project for 2018, at the Gbagada General Hospital, on Wednesday, 10 October, 2018.

She said, ‘The special ambulance can also be used to convey infants with severe post birth complications and others in serious emergency situations. The women of COWLSO reckon that with this intervention, many more newborns, infants and children in Lagos State, will be saved from avoidable deaths with attendant happiness to their parents’.

The Committee also donated two hearing defect management equipment, Portable Otoread OAEs, to Alimosho and Shomolu General Hospitals, also as part of their intervention effort.

Speaking further, she observed that COWLSO was constrained to continue its previous intervention in early detection and management of hearing defects, because of the serious consequences of hearing loss in children.

She recalled that the committee two years ago had upgraded the Ear, Nose and Throat Department of the Lagos Island General Hospital, Odan, subsequently followed with the donation of Portable Otoread OAEs equipment to Badagry, Ifako-Ijaiye, Ikorodu and Gbagada General Hospital.

The objective according to her, was to enable early screening of newborns for possible hearing defects, to eradicate the worrisome menace, which comes with a network of consequences like delayed language development, academic under performance, social isolation and higher risk injuries among others.

The governor’s wife stressed that the incubator ambulance must be made available for use by other government hospitals.

In his address, the commissioner for health, Dr. Jide Idris, noted that the Ambode Administration had always promoted the use of appropriate modern technology for delivery of qualitative and affordable healthcare to the people.

According to him, ‘The donation of Transport Incubator Ambulance to two state general hospitals will help to reduce the neo-natal morbidity and mortality indices of the state significantly’.

Wife of Lagos State Governor/Chairman, Committee of Wives of Lagos State Officials (COWLSO), Mrs. Bolanle Ambode; Medical Director, Gbagada General Hospital, Dr. Tayo Lawal; representative of Chairman, Health Service Commission, Dr. Tokunbo Oluwole; representative of Commissioner for Health, Dr. (Mrs) Olufunmi Taiwo and Commissioner IV, Health Service Commission, Mrs. Kemi Ogunyemi during the donation of Two Transport Incubator ambulance and Portable Otoread equipment to Four General Hospitals in the state by COWLSO as part of its annual Health Intervention Project for 2018, at the Gbagada General Hospital, on Wednesday, 10 October, 2018
Wife of Lagos State Governor/Chairman, Committee of Wives of Lagos State Officials (COWLSO), Mrs. Bolanle Ambode; Medical Director, Gbagada General Hospital, Dr. Tayo Lawal; representative of Chairman, Health Service Commission, Dr. Tokunbo Oluwole; representative of Commissioner for Health, Dr. (Mrs) Olufunmi Taiwo and Commissioner IV, Health Service Commission, Mrs. Kemi Ogunyemi during the donation of Two Transport Incubator ambulance and Portable Otoread equipment to Four General Hospitals in the state by COWLSO as part of its annual Health Intervention Project for 2018, at the Gbagada General Hospital, on Wednesday, 10 October, 2018

He commended the committee for their continual intervention in the healthcare sector, stressing that it had impacted lives, given hope to the downtrodden, empowered women and protected the environment in the state.

The commissioner urged the lucky beneficiary hospitals, to make good and optimal use of the modern equipment, towards achieving the health objectives of the state government.

 The chairman of Lagos State Health Service Commission, Dr. Bayo Aderiye, represented by Dr. Oluwole Tokunbo, copiously commended COWLSO for the series of health interventions over the years.

The medical directors of Gbagada General Hospital and Lagos Island Maternity, Dr.  Tayo Lawal and Dr. Muyiwa Eniayewun, unanimously thanked COWLSO for the kind humanitarian gesture, noting that it had closed the gap of challenges in the health sector, as it affects children.

Ban On Codeine: Lagos Unveils Comprehensive Strategy To Address Mental Health

Ban On Codeine: Lagos Unveils Comprehensive Strategy To Address Mental Health

…Performs First Successful Open-Heart Surgery, Fourth Kidney Transplant, Cochlear Implant, Others

…Constructs 61 PHCs In One Year, To Launch Health Insurance Scheme In 2018

The Lagos State Government on Friday said comprehensive plans are currently being firmed up to generally address prevalence of drug abuse under the mental health policy in the State, revealing that a law to that effect has already been updated.

The Federal Government had on Tuesday directed the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to stop further issuance of permits for the importation of Codeine as active pharmaceutical ingredient for cough preparations with immediate effect in response to the gross abuse of Codeine usage in the country.

Speaking at the annual Ministerial Press Briefing to mark the third anniversary of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s administration held at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre in Alausa, Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris said before and after the ban was announced, the State Government had been engaging with key stakeholders, adding that it was important for serious attention to be concentrated on mental health issue and affiliated matters.

 Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Mrs. Modele Osunkiyesi; Special Adviser to the Governor on Primary Health Care, Dr. Olufemi Onanuga; Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris; his counterpart for Information & Strategy, Mr. Kehinde Bamigbetan; Special Adviser to the Governor on Information & Strategy, Mr. Idowu Ajanaku and Permanent Secretary, Health Service Commission, Mr. Jamiu Adewale Ashimi during the on-going Y2018 ministerial press briefing as part of activities to commemorate the third Year in Office of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, the Secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja, on Friday, May 4, 2018.
Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Mrs. Modele Osunkiyesi; Special Adviser to the Governor on Primary Health Care, Dr. Olufemi Onanuga; Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris; his counterpart for Information & Strategy, Mr. Kehinde Bamigbetan; Special Adviser to the Governor on Information & Strategy, Mr. Idowu Ajanaku and Permanent Secretary, Health Service Commission, Mr. Jamiu Adewale Ashimi during the on-going Y2018 ministerial press briefing as part of activities to commemorate the third Year in Office of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, the Secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja, on Friday, May 4, 2018.

Responding to a question on what the State Government was doing in that regard, Idris said: “On the issue of Codeine, that is very interesting and the question is how are we as, a Ministry, ensuring the compliance by manufacturers. I must tell you that the Drug Control Unit in the Ministry is very active. We are also operating in conjunction with NAFDAC. The ban principally is a NAFDAC initiative but as a State Government we did not wait; we are more proactive and ever since this issue came into light, the Ministry has been engaging and very soon, we will come out with a more comprehensive programme.

“This is because we would not look at Codeine alone; we are going to look at it under drug abuse. Codeine is just one substance out of many that are being abused. It also goes to show you the extent of the mental health situation in our country and that is why like we said something ago that we are putting more emphasis now on mental health. It is a serious issue; it is one area of the health sector that people generally do not even address and that is why as a State Government we are being proactive.

“In line with this, we have updated our own mental health law as against what is happening at the federal level; we have a mental health policy and we are currently now implementing our mental health programme to cover all tiers – primary, secondary and tertiary health care systems. This is a comprehensive thing and there is no doubt about the fact that there is a major mental health problem in our country and this Codeine is just a tip of the iceberg,” the Commissioner said.

Speaking on activities of the State Government in health sector in the last one year, Idris said it was gratifying to report that the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) successful performed its first open-heart surgery on a 32-year-old patient solely by indigenous cardiac surgery team, as well as fourth successful cochlear implant and kidney transplant surgeries, while LASUTH in conjunction with Rotary International and Alliance for Smile successfully carried out surgeries for six patients with cleft lip palate deformity

He said a total of 61 Primary Health Care Centres (PHCs) were either constructed or upgraded and furnished with medical equipment within the period under review, while 38 others are ongoing, in addition to approval given by the Governor for 1,000 health workers to be recruited for the PHC system.

Apart from new access road and gate constructed in LASUTH, the Commissioner said the Child Care Centre otherwise known as Ayinke House in LASUTH would be commissioned in June this year by the Governor, while the phased installation of CCTV with a monitoring room to enhance security of lives and property in the hospital in about 36 strategic areas was currently being done.

He said major rehabilitation works were also carried out in Epe General Hospital, General Hospital, Lagos; Onikan Health Centre, Randle General Hospital, Surulere; Accident and Emergency Centre, Toll Gate; Agbowa General Hospital, Ijede Health Centre; completed School of Nursing Hostel, Igando; procured 30 automated external defibrillator for Lagos State Ambulance Services, as well as procured N2billion worth of equipment for health workers.

Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris (middle); Commissioner for Information & Strategy, Mr. Kehinde Bamigbetan (2nd right); Special Adviser to the Governor on Information & Strategy, Mr. Idowu Ajanaku (right);  Special Adviser to the Governor on Primary Health Care, Dr. Olufemi Onanuga (2nd left) and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Mrs. Modele Osunkiyesi (left) during the on-going Y2018 ministerial press briefing as part of activities to commemorate the third Year in Office of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, the Secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja, on Friday, May 4, 2018.
Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris (middle); Commissioner for Information & Strategy, Mr. Kehinde Bamigbetan (2nd right); Special Adviser to the Governor on Information & Strategy, Mr. Idowu Ajanaku (right); Special Adviser to the Governor on Primary Health Care, Dr. Olufemi Onanuga (2nd left) and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Mrs. Modele Osunkiyesi (left) during the on-going Y2018 ministerial press briefing as part of activities to commemorate the third Year in Office of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, the Secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja, on Friday, May 4, 2018.

The Commissioner said as a follow-up to the successful containment of Ebola outbreak, the State Government in collaboration with Global Partnership Programme, Canada was in the process of establishing a Bio-Containment and Bio-Safety Laboratory within the premises of the Lagos Mainland Hospital, Yaba to facilitate prompt diagnose of diseases of public health importance, while the Health Insurance Scheme of the State Government would commence in 2018.

“On health insurance, we are doing everything to ensure that the scheme is successful. Already, we have given formal letters of award to selected seven health insurance agents. So far, 179 private and 68 public primary care facilities, and 27 General Hospital including LASUTH have satisfied the minimum required standards for the scheme. An additional 42 public PHCs will be added.

“The one per cent of the consolidated revenue earmarked by law as approved by the House of Assembly as equity has been budgeted for in 2018 appropriation. This scheme will commence this year; I am very sure of that,” Idris said.