…Commissions New Access Road To LASUTH
In a move designed to permanently remove difficulties associated with accessing medical care faster during emergencies, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Wednesday commissioned a new road linking the premises of Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja from Mobolaji Bank Anthony Way.
Governor Ambode, who also inspected the progress of work on the LASUTH Maternity Hospital popularly known as Ayinke House, ordered contractors handling the project to work day and night to deliver it within the next six months.
The new road, which is 400metres long, is designed with street light, drainage, median and beautification features.
Speaking while commissioning the road, Governor Ambode expressed delight at the completion of the project, saying it was designed to facilitate faster access to medical care, thereby saving lives.
He said it was a thing of joy that after about three to four decades, another access road had been created to LASUTH, just as directed the management of the institution to ensure proper usage of the facility.
He said: “We are very delighted to be here. We believe strongly that the major cornerstone for the growth of the economy of Lagos actually lies in the hands of all of you here because if we don’t have a healthy State, we cannot have a productive economy and that was why we decided that we would pay greater attention to the health sector.
“We realised that just one entrance into this whole complex is too dangerous. It’s been like that for almost three or four decades and we are happy to be here opening another access road and thereby saving lives.
“That is the way it should be because patients can come in ambulance but held up almost thirty minutes and unable to disembark but this road will remove the tragedy that may occur through such and we are happy to commission this project.
“We are also happy that in another five to six months, we will be back here to make the Ayinke House functional and in addition to that, there are other two projects going on here and we have received assurances also that before May 2018, those ones will be completed also,” he said.
While commending the management of the institution for performing creditably well, Governor Ambode assured that his administration would not relent in implementing policies and projects designed to scale up the health sector, and also monitor the performance of workers in the sector to ensure efficient service delivery.
The Governor specifically acknowledged the pressure on medical personnel in the State due to number of patients coming from other States and even countries in the West African region, and pledged to address issues relating to welfare of staff, especially doctors who recently raised question of promotion stagnation.
Governor Ambode, who also inspected ongoing projects across the State, ordered additional projects such as lounge for families of patients and canteen, as well as Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Department to be included in the ongoing upgrade and expansion of Alimosho General Hospital.
The Governor said his desire is to upgrade the hospital to LASUTH standard, just as he assured that as part of the Cleaner Lagos Initiative, the Igando Dump Site, which is a major eyesore, would be shut down and cleaned up to safeguard the health of people in the area.
Earlier, Chief Medical Director of LASUTH, Professor Adewale Oke commended Governor Ambode for his commitment to the health sector, saying several projects had been executed in the institution.
Speaking on the new access road, Oke said: “This is a dream come true. For many years, we have had problem with movement of patients into the hospital. Sometimes, they are in the ambulance for fifteen or twenty minutes before they can get in but this road has solved that problem.
“It is going to save our patients; it’s going to make access to the hospital very easy even for the workers. To add more to it, it is very aesthetically beautiful which complement the development that is going around.”
Also speaking, Professor Babatunde Sholagbero, Provost of Lagos State University College of Medicine (LASUCOM), said the completion of the road was an eloquent evidence of promise made and promise kept.
He thanked Governor Ambode for facilitating the accreditation of Dentistry for the institution, thereby making Lagos State University (LASU) the only state university in Nigeria that has bachelor of Dentistry degree.
He added: “By the World Health Organisation (WHO) statistics, the accepted dentist to patient population in United States is 1 to 2000, but for Africa it is 1 to 150,000. So, for every dentist we produce, we will now have 150,000 Lagosians being catered for.
“Aside that, there are many other projects that the present administration has implemented in our institution and we are now a toast among committee of medical colleges,” Solagbero said.
On his part, President of Lagos State University Medical Students Association, Bada Akintayo Akinbobola commended Governor Ambode for his determination to scale up the health sector, saying LASUCOM is now regarded as the Harvard of Africa judging by the massive investment in the institution by the State Government.
Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode on Wednesday commissioned the first state owned DNA Forensic Centre in West Africa, saying that the move would go a long way in resolving all form of crimes, paternity issues and others through technology which is the modern trend across the world.
Governor Ambode said the completion and handing over of the centre located at Odunlami Street in Lagos Island, was a significant milestone and a symbolic manifestation of his administration’s policies in reforming the justice sector and in line with his vision to make the State safe for residents and investors.
He said the State Government, with the completion of the centre, is joining other advanced countries of the world which had embraced technology to make life easier for people in all spheres of existence.
He said: “From the domestic front to our places of work; from the way we learn, to doing business, the use of technology has become a way of life. You will therefore understand why our administration had no hesitation in approving this project which serves amongst other things, as an effective method of bringing perpetrators of crime to book and ensuring quick dispensation of justice.”
The Governor recalled that from inception, his administration realised the fact that security was key to good governance and sustainability of investment to make life better for the people, a development he said necessitated the heavy investment in security equipment, recruitment and training of security personnel to assist law enforcement agencies in the maintenance of public peace and security.
The interventions, Governor Ambode said, had translated into tremendous success by the reduction in the incidents of crimes in the State, adding that the DNA Centre was another move demonstrating the State Government’s resolve to stay ahead of criminals through scientific-led investigations.
Giving details of the DNA Centre, the Governor said the facility has capacity to provide the Police, Prosecutors, Defense Attorneys and Private citizens with crime scene processing; serological screening for blood and semen; DNA analysis of bone, teeth and hair; maternal and paternal relationship DNA analysis; expert witness and case handling services; paternal and maternal ancestry DNA analysis; cold case file review and mass disaster human identification.
While assuring that the government would not rest on its oars in coming up with initiatives to secure the State, Governor Ambode said with the commissioning, the government would now move to the second stage of building additional capacity in the areas of Toxicology; Trace Evidence and Controlled Substance Analysis; Fingerprint and Latent prints; Firearms, Ballistics and Tool Marks; Digital Forensics; and Questioned Documents Examination.
According to him, “The development of these other forensic sections at the facility will complement the DNA forensic section and enhance the level of services offered today.
Before now, most, if not all DNA analysis and testing were performed outside Nigeria, a situation that caused longer turn-around times and an overall higher cost of bringing closure to a case.
“I am therefore convinced that the establishment of the Lagos DNA & Forensic Centre will improve the speed and quality of evidence collected to assist our Courts in the quick dispensation of justice. This centre is a definite boost for our administration’s Justice Sector reform programme. It shows that our covenant with Lagosians to create a safe and secure State is being kept,” Governor Ambode said.
In his welcome address, the State’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Adeniji Kazeem said the centre would assist the State to have a reliable DNA database that would enable investigators and law enforcement officers identify crime patterns and suspects, and also help exonerate or convict suspects.
On his part, the Consul General of United States Embassy in Lagos, Mr John Bray congratulated Governor Ambode and the people of the State for successfully completing the building of “the first DNA Forensic Centre not only in Nigeria but in West Africa,” saying that the development would enhance justice and progress.
Bray, who had worked as a law enforcement officer in United States for twenty-five years before being posted to Lagos, said the State Government deserved commendation for the foresight and vision to undertake such project as the DNA Forensic centre, adding that there was no question about the fact that the facility is of world class standard.
On his part, the Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Abayomi Olonishakin represented by Rear Admiral Lawal Modu Adams said the centre was a significant milestone in the country’s fight against all forms of crime including terrorism.
Also, Lagos State Acting Commissioner of Police, Mr Imohimi Edgal said the completion of the centre was another first by the Lagos State Government and one of the greatest moves by any state government towards boosting security and justice delivery.
He said with the opening of the centre, the State Police Command would now reopen unresolved high-profile cases hitherto frustrated by lack of solid evidence.
“I am perhaps the happiest person here today because this will enhance my job. We have a lot of pending high profile cases that we have not resolved yet. These cases, we intend to revisit with this new centre coming on board,” the CP said.
…Set To Launch Short Code To Report Cases
Between January and September 2017, a total of 852 cases of domestic violence and related cases were recorded in Lagos State, the State’s Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT) has disclosed.
Speaking on Tuesday at a media parley held at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, Alausa to commemorate the Domestic and Sexual Violence Awareness Month, the State’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Adeniji Kazeem said out of the total number, there were 564 domestic violence cases, 60 defilement cases, 30 rape cases, 11 attempted rape, 123 child neglect and abuse cases, and 84 other cases.
Kazeem, who is also the Chairman of DSVRT, disclosed that the trend from the data showed an increase in men coming forward to report cases of domestic violence, just as he said that this year alone, a total number of 55 men came forward to report in contrast to 14 men that reported last year.
He said the data revealed that most of sexual assault cases were perpetrated in the afternoon during weekdays, while corroborating that 95 percent of the perpetrators of sexual violence are known to the victims, which according to him, necessitated the need to embark on sensitization campaigns for parents on parenting skills and child abuse prevention tips as well as trainings for children on child’s rights, child abuse, safety and how to preserve evidence.
While some of the cases have been charged to court, Kazeem said the State Government through the Ministry of Youth and Social Development and other stakeholders, provided shelter for the survivors.
Aside that, the Commissioner said all the survivors of sexual assault received medical attention from comprehensive Primary Health Care Centres and referral centres, among other efforts to properly rehabilitate and re-integrate them into the society.
Kazeem, however, noted that under the present administration, the interventions of DSVRT were gradually breaking the silence around issues of sexual and gender based violence in the State.
“There is a growing confidence urging people to speak out more, there is an astronomical increase in reporting of cases in the media. Lagos has indeed revolutionize the way sexual and gender based violence is being tackled in Nigeria with all the pioneering initiatives of Governor Ambode,” Kazeem said.
Besides, the Attorney General revealed that the State Government has concluded plans to launch a short service code that would afford residents the opportunity of reporting cases of domestic violence, sexual abuse, child abuse and other related offences with ease.
He said the initiative was aimed at ensuring that victims of all forms of abuse reach out to the appropriate agencies and receive timely information on what to do and where to get assistance.
“This would be achieved by members of the public using keywords, that is, ‘Child Abuse to 6820’ or *6820# and an interactive menu browser to get the relevant information from such users such as name, location, specific case or complaint which would in turn ensure that the whole response team is automatically activated.
“Anybody that needs to report a case of child abuse, rape or domestic violence or requires a child or a woman to be rescued can make use of the platform and should receive timely and accurate information”, Adeniji said.