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.

Mrs. Bolanle Ambode Urges Nigerians To Be More Concerned About Malaria Prevention

Mrs. Bolanle Ambode Urges Nigerians To Be More Concerned About Malaria Prevention

Wife of the governor of Lagos State, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode, has urged Lagosians and Nigerians in general, to be more concerned with preventing rather than curing malaria infection.

She gave the charge in Oregun, HOFOWEM office, when her pet project, Hope for Women in Nigeria Initiative HOFOWEM, distributed over 3000 insecticide-treated nets, at Makoko community, Yaba LCDA, as part of activities to mark 2018 World Malaria Day.

Mrs. Ambode described as unacceptable, a situation where a child dies every two minutes from malaria around the world, and an alarming global average of 400,000 deaths annually, according to WHO accounts.

CEO., Hope for Women in Nigeria Initiative (HOFOWEM), Mrs. Oyefunke Olayinka (r); supported by Chairman, Yaba Local Council Development Area (LCDA), Hon. Kayode Omiyale (2nd left) & his wife, Kemi (L), to make symbolic presentation to one of the residents, Mama Janet, when HOFOWEM (a pet project of the wife of the governor of Lagos State, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode) distributed of over 3000 insecticide-treated nets to Makoko residents, as part of activities to mark the 2018 World Malaria Day, at Yaba, on Wednesday, 25th April, 2018.
CEO., Hope for Women in Nigeria Initiative (HOFOWEM), Mrs. Oyefunke Olayinka (r); supported by Chairman, Yaba Local Council Development Area (LCDA), Hon. Kayode Omiyale (2nd left) & his wife, Kemi (L), to make symbolic presentation to one of the residents, Mama Janet, when HOFOWEM (a pet project of the wife of the governor of Lagos State, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode) distributed of over 3000 insecticide-treated nets to Makoko residents, as part of activities to mark the 2018 World Malaria Day, at Yaba, on Wednesday, 25th April, 2018.

She submitted that efforts should be geared towards a robust prevention of the scourge, with wide-spread use of nets, in-door spraying with insecticide and preventive treatment of expectant mothers.

According to her, ‘We cannot fold our arms and allow malaria to continue to ravage our society. This epidemic has claimed too many lives, whether in our country, Africa or the world in general. Thank God it is not a disease without prevention or cure, and since it has both, the easier way out is to prevent it’.

‘The World Health Organization tells us that more than 400,000 malaria deaths still occur annually, and at least one child dies of the infection every two minutes around the world, this is bad enough. It cannot go on this way, we need to scale down the ugly trend, by doing more to prevent rather than chase after cure.’

She noted further that the theme for this year, ‘End Malaria for Good’ was attainable, if governments, NGOs, stakeholders and individuals, worked together to combat the epidemic.

She specifically appealed for more investment in malaria prevention, as well as greater funding for malaria control in endemic countries, stressing that this would aid the attainment of WHO’s Global Technical Strategy for Malaria projection of 40 per cent reduction in cases and deaths by 2020.

Speaking further, she said, ”HOFOWEM as foundation, is concerned about the welfare and health of the family. The family cannot be productive if it is plagued with one of the fastest killers in medical history. This is why we are advocating for the use of treated insecticide nets, proper disposal of waste and a clean environment generally.”

The governor’s wife expressed happiness at the gradual improvement in public awareness on malaria issue as indicated by people’s warm acceptance of the nets, noting however, that public education and enlightenment must go on and the programme extended to other communities in the state.

Addressing the community members, the chairman of Yaba Local Council Development Area, Hon. Kayode Omiyale, thanked the founder of HOFOWEM foundation, for celebrating 2018 world malaria day with the community and counseled Makoko residents to ensure the insecticide distributed is used for the purpose for which it was given.

CEO., Hope for Women in Nigeria Initiative (HOFOWEM), Mrs. Oyefunke Olayinka (2nd right); supported by Chairman, Yaba Local Council Development Area (LCDA), Hon. Kayode Omiyale (3rd left) & his wife, Kemi (2nd left), to make symbolic presentation to one of the Chiefs of Makoko Community, Alhaji Ibraheem Aladetan (3rd right), when HOFOWEM (a pet project of the wife of the governor of Lagos State, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode) distributed of over 3000 insecticide-treated nets to Makoko residents, as part of activities to mark the 2018 World Malaria Day, at Yaba, on Wednesday, 25th April, 2018.
CEO., Hope for Women in Nigeria Initiative (HOFOWEM), Mrs. Oyefunke Olayinka (2nd right); supported by Chairman, Yaba Local Council Development Area (LCDA), Hon. Kayode Omiyale (3rd left) & his wife, Kemi (2nd left), to make symbolic presentation to one of the Chiefs of Makoko Community, Alhaji Ibraheem Aladetan (3rd right), when HOFOWEM (a pet project of the wife of the governor of Lagos State, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode) distributed of over 3000 insecticide-treated nets to Makoko residents, as part of activities to mark the 2018 World Malaria Day, at Yaba, on Wednesday, 25th April, 2018.

He appealed that their environment should be kept clean at all times to avoid breeding mosquitoes, and that personal and community hygiene  should be taken as a priority.

Also speaking, the chief executive officer of HOFOWEM, Mrs. Olayinka Oyefunke, thanked the founder for approving the purchase and mass distribution of the nets, stressing that it was in line with HOFOWEM’s philosophy of touching people’s lives.

Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, Alhaji Ibraheem Aladetan, the bale of Ilaje-Makoko community thanked the founder of HOFOWEM for her care, promising on behalf of others, that their homes and immediate surroundings would always be kept clean, since mosquitoes breed more in a filthy environment, and that the insecticide net would be used for the purpose for which it was given.

April 25th every year is World Malaria Day, set aside since 2007 to recognize global efforts at controlling malaria, provide education on the scourge and spread information on control strategies in endemic areas across the world.

Remarks Delivered At The Domestic And Sexual Violence Advocacy Walk

Remarks Delivered At The Domestic And Sexual Violence Advocacy Walk

A lot of progress has been made in the steps taken to protect the rights of women and the girl child and in the war against the oppression of the female gender. However, there is still so much to be done. We need to ask ourselves the hard question: for this cause we honour today, how can we truly ensure we are walking the talk?

In our State, there has been a significant increase in formal and informal reporting of Domestic and Sexual Violence cases, but contrary to what it appears to be, this menace is not a recent development. These occurrences have been around for years but they were seen as “norms” because nobody spoke out against them, and such acts were overlooked based on misguided definitions of gender roles.

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What we are tackling today is an almost innate culture which relegates women to the background and forces them to suffer in silence. In Lagos, we are waging a war against this culture and we will do everything within our power to transform ours to a culture of equality, respect and dignity for all. It is a journey of radical transformation, and our government is wholly committed to seeing it through.

We have walked the talk as regards fighting Sexual & Gender Based Violence. The Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team has executed interventions and initiatives which include: Easy access to reporting incidents, Speedy Rescue and Access to Justice, Medical & Psycho-Social Support for Survivors, Sensitization & Policy Advocacy and the establishment of the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Trust Fund to ensure survivors are financially independent.

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We are not just reactive in helping survivors but also taking aggressive steps to prevent future occurrences. Our aim is to build a system of trust and accountability, where survivors are encouraged to speak out and potential perpetrators are discouraged to commit future acts

At this juncture, we must commend the Lagos State Judiciary, particularly, the Hon. Chief Judge of Lagos State, Hon. Justice Olufunmilayo Oke for heeding the call to establish a Sexual Offences court. Thank you very much.

We are already seeing the dividends, and it is our earnest hope that justice would continue to be swift.

We must also commend the Lagos State House of Assembly, under the able leadership of the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, for the enactment of the Protection against Domestic Violence Law, 2007, the Child’s Right Law of Lagos State, 2015 and the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

All these interventions have provided a solid platform for waging the war against Sexual & gender based Violence, now we need to improve on this foundation and become pioneering.

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Rape should not be met with light sentencing; the minimum sentence of 25 years is highly recommended. We need new laws, which will respond adequately to the nature and occurrences of this era. Domestic Violence is a crime, and should be treated as such. The Protection Against Domestic Violence Law, 2007, should therefore be amended accordingly.

Similarly, the Nigeria Police Force which is usually the first point of call must strive to be more professional and ensure proper investigation of reported cases by grooming specialist officers in this area.

As the saying goes, the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the next best time is now. We firmly believe that the actions we take today will be the seeds sown for a brighter future for our women and indeed, our children. We believe our State can continue to pioneer in this agenda and become a benchmark not just in Nigeria, but globally.

Our dream Lagos is one where the rights of every citizen are safeguarded and the most vulnerable are fully protected. Let us all join hands and continue to drive this worthy cause.

Itesiwaju Ipinle Eko, Lo Je wa Logun

Thank you.