Lagos State has set a six-year target to achieve universal health coverage, with Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu disclosing on Thursday that the government would work assiduously towards achieving the goal and making affordable healthcare accessible for all residents by 2025.
The Governor spoke at the commissioning of 149-bed Maternal and Child Centre (MCC) sited in Alimosho General Hospital, Igando. The facility was built and donated to the State by the Federal Government through the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire.
The hospital which was opened by the Wife of the President, Dr. Aisha Buhari was the second to be commissioned during the current administration in Lagos. In September, Governor Sanwo-Olu opened a 110-bed MCC in Eti-Osa area of the State.
Sanwo-Olu, who was visibly excited at the opening of the Igando MCC, said the facility would raise the capacity of the State to further reduce maternal and child mortality rate, adding that the MCC would also complement the output of the existing healthcare facilities in the State in providing quality care for nursing women and newborns.
He said: “The delivery of this new MCC is heart-warming for us in Lagos. Not only that it is sited in the most populous area of the State and largest Local Government Area in the country, it is most befitting to help us to give quality care to nursing women and their babies. This development speaks to part of our own plan to achieve universal healthcare coverage for all residents not only by the year 2030; we are now pushing it forward to achieve the target by 2025.
“At the just-concluded United Nations General Assembly, we did make a commitment to see how we can fast-track our process to meet Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially the Goal 3, which talks about not leaving anyone behind in the healthcare. But this, we also talked about provision of clean water and engaging in sanitation, so that our people healthy and flourish.
“All of those components must come together and must be able to take our people out of poverty, because these are the indices that are used when prosperity of a nation is considered. We are building the capacity of our healthcare facilities to give quality care at affordable rate.”
Sanwo-Olu hailed the Federal Government for considering Lagos as one of the States to benefit from the project, saying healthcare delivery was a key pillar in his administration’s developmental agenda.
The Governor assured that the State would put the MCC to good use, disclosing that his government had already engaged the services of clinical facility managers through the Lagos State Infrastructure Asset Management Agency to maintain the facility.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Administration, Mrs Ajoh Sanni, who represented Dr. Buhari, called for more effort from the private sector to support the government in combating the challenges of maternal mortality rates.
She said: “I believe the facility will go a long way in reducing the spate of maternal and child mortality in our country. Therefore, I urge for more concerted effort by privileged individual and private sector players to complement government’s efforts by investing in healthcare market, with aim to help the country reduce maternal and child mortality.”
Lagos First Lady, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, lauded the Federal Government for the initiative, saying it aligned with the commitment of the present administration in the State to reposition healthcare for premium service to residents.
She said: “As a member of the medical family, I understand and appreciate the positive impact this facility will have on the ongoing efforts of the present administration of Governor Sanwo-Olu to revamp, rejuvenate and reposition healthcare delivery in Lagos State for top-notch service to the people.”
Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi said the delivery of the facility was another milestone in the effort of government towards improving the health indices in the State. He said the location of facility would enable it serve 3.5 million residents of Alimosho.
He said: “The existing MCC in Alimosho has 70 beds, 44 cots and 10 incubators with the necessary support services. It has become grossly inadequate for the people of Alimosho and its environs. The addition of a new MCC will reduce referrals to other health facilities and provide the much desperately needed space to treat our mothers and children.”
The 149-bed MCC is fitted with state-of-the-art facilities, such as Vacuum Extractor Delivery Set, Anaesthetic Machine, Diathermy Machine, Oxygen Generating Machine, Suction Machine Double Jar, Patients Monitors with EC02, among others.
It also boasts of two operating theatres, recovery rooms, sterilisation room, delivery room, consulting rooms, private and general wards, scanning room, and side laboratories.