…Governor Also Commissions Regional Emergency Infrastructure, Two Magistrate Courts In Epe.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has delivered two strategic projects aimed at saving lives and securing property in Epe Division of Lagos State.
The Governor, on Monday, commissioned a fully equipped 110-bed Maternal and Child Centre (MCC) built in the ancient town to reduce maternal mortality rate and address complications that may lead to birth defects.
The four-storey Epe MCC makes it the fourth to be delivered in two years by the Sanwo-Olu administration. Others are located in Eti Osa, Alimosho and Badagry.
Also, the Governor formally inaugurated the Emergency and Security Regional Dispatch Centre in Epe town for swift response to emergencies and management of disasters.
The emergency infrastructure is to raise the capability of the State Government in responding to emergency situations in the eastern part of Lagos.
Jubilant residents led by their traditional rulers trooped out to welcome Sanwo-Olu for the projects’ inauguration.
In the Governor’s entourage was the Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat – a native of the town – and members of the State Executive Council.
Opening the maternity hospital, Sanwo-Olu said the overarching goal of his administration’s investment in provision of healthcare infrastructure was to eradicate infant and child mortality in Lagos by creating quality care for pregnant women
The Governor said the Epe MCC would not be the last, stressing that his Government had an objective to build more maternal child centres across the State, thereby improving access to quality care for expectant mothers in pre- and post-natal management.
He said: “There is no better time than now to put an end to preventable maternal and child deaths, using advanced technology, modern equipment and well trained health workers. The process of bringing life into existence should no longer lead to the loss of another life. Health is a major pillar of our administration’s THEMES Agenda, which focuses on improving quality and access.
“Our Government remains committed to addressing maternal and child mortality in Lagos, and this is the basis of our consistent action and smart investments in provision of health infrastructure. Our women must no longer die while giving life. This 110 bed-Maternal Child Center is another essential facility built to achieve safe childbirth and reduction in maternal and infant mortality.”
The MCC, which is a secondary public health facility will provide services related to reproductive issues, including obstetrics, gynecology, paediatrics, family planning, immunisation, laboratory services and radiology.
Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, said the MCC’s inauguration by the Governor came three weeks after the facility began full operation. He noted that the hospital had already received 590 patients and performed 100 birth deliveries.
He said the facility would raise the capacity of the State to combat medical challenges accounting for infant mortality.
Sanwo-Olu said the delivery of the regional Emergency and Security Dispatch Centre was strategic for the efficient and rapid deployment of first responders to emergency situations within Epe and neighbouring towns.
The emergency infrastructure serves as a hub and one-stop facility for agencies, including Lagos State Emergency Management Authority (LASEMA), Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), Lagos State Fire and Rescue Services Agency (LSFS), Lagos State Neighbourhood Safety Corps (LNSC), Lagos State Ambulance Services, Lagos State Environmental and Special Offences (TASKFORCE) Unit, and the Rapid Response Squad (RRS).
The Governor said: “The delivery and commissioning of the Regional Emergency and Security Dispatch Centre reinforces the commitment of our administration to the provision of a seamless and efficient safety, security and emergency management approach in Lagos. It demonstrates the premium our Government places on the safety of lives and property of residents, irrespective of where they choose to live within the State.
“The synergised efforts of all the safety agencies within the Centre will enhance efficiency in terms of the ability of our officers to effectively tackle emergencies and improve response time to emergencies. As a proactive Government, we will not deviate from the goal of ensuring every part of Lagos is safe and secure.
We will continue to invest in human and capital resources that guarantee the safety and security of all residents.”
Commissioner for Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Relations, Mr. Tayo Bamgbose-Martins, said the LASEMA Response Unit had been equipped with a mini fuel dump and 100,000 litre water storage facility for usage of fire trucks.
Chairman of traditional rulers in Epe Division and Oloja of Epe, Oba Kamarudeen Animashaun, conveyed residents’ appreciation to the Governor for the projects, whom he described as “bountiful gifts”.
The monarch said there would no longer be a need for emergency personnel to travel from Lagos central for rescue operations in Epe.
He said: “I am convinced that the siting of the maternity hospital and LRU in Epe town will not only bring comfort to our people, but also create a lot of job opportunities for our youths, thereby leading to wealth creation for the populace.”
Chairman of Epe LGA, Hon. Adedoyin Adesanya, hailed Sanwo-Olu for the projects, saying pregnant women seeking comprehensive care would no longer go to Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) and Lagos Island General Hospital.
The delivery of the project, the council boss stressed, is an “overwhelming reciprocity of support” shown by the Governor during his election.
Also, Hon. Abiodun Tobun, representing Epe Constituency 1 in the House of Assembly, described the projects as an honour, pointing out that the gesture was an indication that the Governor listened to the cry of Epe people.
Brain Drain: Fmr Commissioner wants medical practitioners involved in policy making
Dr Jide Idris, the Convener, Healthcare Transformation Coalition (HTC), has urged medical professionals to contribute to policy making that will address brain drain and other lingering issues in the health sector.
Idris, a former Commissioner for Health in Lagos State, made the call on Saturday at a programme organised by HTC under the auspices of the Lagos State Health Service Commission, to address brain drain in Nigeria.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of the programme was ”Imperatives of Brain Drain in the Health Sector”.
“We initiated this event to listen to our young professionals in the medical line why they are not happy and also want to leave the country and practice elsewhere.
“There are many causes to the challenge anda major part of it revolve around management of human capacity.
“This is an election period and a good opportunity for us to contribute to policy making by ensuring that we put the right leader in place to formulate good policies that will move the sector forward.
“Health is everybody business and just for the government alone,” he said.
He added that there was the need to train more healthcare personnel and have health financing grants to fill the gap created by those who have left and also improve their welfare.
Also, Prof. Akin Abayomi, the Lagos State Commissioner for Health, said a rapid exit replacement strategy should be in place to address brain drain.
”Brain drain is not something that is new, it has existed for many decades and it has affected all professional cadre of the country.
”Nigeria is a natural exporter of human capital and this is because we don’t produce planes, equipment and the likes.
”We must make more healthcare professionals to address this issue and our institutions must pay attention to the selection process of medical students,” he said.
Similarly, Dr Muyiwa Eniayewun, the Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Health Service Commission, said the number of medical practitioners produced should be increased to mitigate brain drain effects.
Eniayewun said: ”For instance, we produce 3,000 doctors in the country annually; but I believe with this present challenge we should be able to do 10,000 to maintain a balance and sustain the system,” he said.
NAN reports that a panelist session was also held for young medical practitioners to discuss and proffer solutions to the current trend of “Japa” (human capital flight) in various medical fields.
Nursing federation slams UK recruitment from poorer nations
Britain’s recruitment of nurses from poorer countries as a quick fix for its own underinvestment in the profession is a serious cause of concern, the global nurses’ federation said Monday.
The International Council of Nurses said wealthy countries recruiting nursing staff from some of the world’s most fragile health systems was extremely hard to justify and perhaps should be stopped entirely.
The ICN said seven or eight wealthy countries — notably Britain, the United States and Canada — were driving around 80 percent of international nurse migration, to try to address their domestic shortages.
“We are very concerned by some of the examples,” ICN chief executive Howard Catton told a press conference organised by the UN correspondents association in Geneva.
He cited talks between Britain and Ghana whereby London will pay Accra £1,000 ($1,240) per nurse recruited.
“That, in no way, goes anywhere near recognising the true value of the training costs of that nurse, or the loss to the Ghanaian health system,” he said.
When adding in experience in the field, “I’d expect to see £50,000 as a price to compensate for that experience at least — if not more. £1,000 is woefully short.”
The ICN said international recruitment focused largely on experienced, specialised nurses, rather than the “myth” that only newly-qualified nurses were being targeted.
“That creates a serious deficit in expertise in countries that cannot afford to lose their more experienced nurses. That has really been a serious concern,” said ICN president Pamela Cipriano.
“When you take those nurses out of the clinical environment, you truly have a brain drain.”
She said countries had to adopt a strategy of becoming self-sufficient in producing nurses.
“We’re appealing to the ethics of countries that health is a global issue,” she said.
“We don’t want to see some countries thrive and others hurt.”
Catton also highlighted Britain’s agreement with the Nepalese government on nurse recruitment, noting that the ratio of nurses to the British population is around 80 to 10,000, while in Nepal it is nearer 20.
“That is already taking nurses from a very low base, where access to healthcare is limited,” he said.
“That sort of recruitment can mean that a service simply isn’t provided.”
“If you’re a government who is relying on international recruitment as a quick fix to shortages because you haven’t invested enough, be very, very careful about that,” Catton said.
“For probably the 45 or 50 most vulnerable countries around the world,” he said, “there is a very strong case that… there shouldn’t be any recruitment.”
Founded in 1899, the Geneva-based ICN is a federation of more than 130 national nursing associations representing 28 million nurses worldwide
FG Suspends COVID-19 Tests For Travellers
The Federal Government has approved the immediate relaxation of the COVID-19 safety measures and travel advisory, including the suspension of all pre-departure, pre-boarding, and post-arrival PCR test requirements.
This was contained in a statement on Monday by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Chairman of the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 (PSC), Boss Mustapha.
According to Mustapha, President Muhammadu Buhari’s approval follows the recommendations of the PSC based on clinical and laboratory evidence of a sustained reduction in COVID-19 infection/transmission across the country.
“All pre-departure and post-arrival PCR test requirements for all persons who are not fully vaccinated have been suspended,” the statement reads in part.
“With the suspension of both the preboarding and post-arrival PCR tests, passengers will no longer be required to upload evidence of vaccination on the Nigeria International Travel Portal (NITP). All unvaccinated and partially vaccinated passengers are strongly encouraged to get fully vaccinated.
“Health Declaration Form. A simplified Health Declaration (non-covid-19 specific) shall be completed by all passengers arriving in Nigeria on the Nigeria International Travel Portal (NITP); while provision will be made on arrival for those who were unable to complete this form before departure.
“Finally, the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 (PSC) passionately appeals to Nigerians to ensure that they take their COVID-19 vaccinations as well as booster doses.”
With Nigeria’s first recorded COVID-19 case in February 2020, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) restricted international flights from the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos and Nnamdi Azikwe International airport in Abuja on March 23, 2020.
However, emergency and essential flights are exempted from the restriction, according to the NCAA. This followed the Federal Government’s shutdown of three other airports on March 21, 2020, including Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano; Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu; and the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa.
However, after five months of the shutdown, NCAA resumed international flights on September 5, 2020, with strict COVID-19 guidelines for pass
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