By Muhaimin Olowoporoku
Wife of Lagos State Governor, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu on Friday welcomed the first babies of the year in four state-owned health facilities which include: Mushin General Hospital, Alimosho General Hospital, Orile Agege General Hospital and Ayinke House, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital.
Baby Amoo, a male who weighed 3kg delivered at exactly 12:01am by Mrs Tomilola Amao is the first baby of the year at Mushin General Hospital. Another baby, a male who weighed 4.35kg and delivered at 2:38am by Mrs.Onumba Foluke is the first baby of the year in Alimosho General Hospital.
Also, baby Ajayi, a girl, who weighed 2.35kg and delivered at 12:01a.m. by Mrs. Abosede Ajayi is the first baby of the year at Orile-Agege General Hospital while the first baby of the year at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (Ayinke House, LASUTH) is baby Adesola-Fagade. The baby who weighed 3.3kg was delivered at 12.21am to the family of Mr and Mrs Adesola-Fagade.
Sanwo-Olu who was at these hospitals to celebrate the arrival of the new born babies stated that the birth of a child, for most people, symbolizes the assurance that our heritage and life force is carried on to the next generation.
She said: “As with a lot of cultures, not just in Yoruba Land but across the world, the birth of a child brings good fortune to a society. But we must recognize that these events do not happen by chance”.
“Just as the birth of a healthy baby requires that the mother takes steps to ensure that she lives a healthy life whilst pregnant and gets skilled care during labour and delivery, we must also play our part to ensure that we live the kind of life that will promote our own welfare and the well-being of our society.”
She stated further that the event is not just to celebrate new life but also to seek opportunities to make a difference in the lives of the people by showing kindness and compassion.
She expressed hope that the year will be full of accomplishments and the state will grow stronger despite the COVID-19 pandemic currently ravaging the world.
The wife of the Governor while highlighting strategies implemented by the administration of her husband to strengthen the health sector and halt the trend of maternal and child mortality in Lagos State disclosed that the health sector in the course of last year was supported with the provision of Neonatal Care Units, equipment and resources to various State Health facilities to enhance the quality of maternal and child care services in Lagos State.
She acknowledged the efforts of the State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi and his team for the great improvement recorded in the State health sector especially in the fight against COVID-19 in the last few months stressing that the his commitment towards infrastructural upgrade, provision of relevant equipment, and human resource development is exemplary.
Sanwo-Olu called on all residents to continue to support the State Government in the fight against COVID-19 stressing that COVID-19 is real and still in the community.
“All hands must be on deck towards flattening the curve of the second wave of the virus by strictly adhering to all preventive and safety guidelines designed to ward off the threat of the virus”, she said.
Earlier in his remarks, the State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi noted that the first baby of the year remains a symbolic event as it shows that the very first activity of the State government every year is seen to focus on health.
“Its significance is demonstrated by the priority it is given, with the visit of the wife of our Governor and the many important dignitaries, who could have been elsewhere, but have chosen to spend their first few hours of the new year here in our public hospitals. They make it a duty to be here to rejoice with our mothers on the birth of their children and that, in itself, speaks volumes”, he said.
The Commissioner who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Dr Olusegun Ogboye stressed that State Government is committed to reducing Maternal and Child Mortality by implementing various interventions including implementing advocacy, sensitization campaigns and community dialogues targeted at maternal and child survival, upgrading of existing health infrastructure to provide basic and comprehensive obstetrics care, as well as other maternal and child health services.
“It is worth stating that the Ministry of Health is saddled with the responsibility of ensuring that our residents have access to services that promote health and wellbeing. And part of its obligations is to strengthen structures, improve programs and expand services that help reduce Neonatal and Infant Mortality and ensure Safe Motherhood.
“As such, events like this give our dignitaries the chance to evaluate where we are, as against the year before and recognize opportunities to create partnerships that can further improve service outcomes”, Abayomi said.
He enjoined all mothers, fathers and the entire citizenry both in rural and urban areas to support the State Government’s effort in reducing the incidence of maternal and child deaths through active involvement and participation in the State Maternal and Child health intervention programs and campaigns.
The Commissioner stated that the fight against COVID-19 is not yet over stressing that all hands must be on deck towards flattening the curve of the second wave of the virus through strict adherence to all preventive and safety protocols.
Speaking at the Alimosho General Hospital Centre, the Medical Director of the facility, Dr. Madewa Adebajo acknowledged the several interventions by the State government in form of recruitment of additional health workers and provision of latest medical equipment, saying that the Hospital is now better positioned to attend to the medical needs of about 50,000 patients who seek medical care on monthly basis from the facility.
He maintained that the successes recorded by the hospital was made possible through the support of the State Government and the passion which the First Lady, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu has for qualitative Healthcare delivery.
He said, “It’s a rare privilege that Alimosho General Hospital is the only government-owned hospital with two Maternal and Child Centre, MCC, we also have a Centre for sexual assault referral system and an Oxygen Therapy Centre.
” The State Government also assisted the hospital in maintaining free flow of traffic within the hospital environment thereby reducing the rate of accidents within this vicinity with the erection of speed breakers. “
Also, the Chief Medical Director of Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH, Professor Adetokunbo Fabamwo who outlined the various successes recorded by the State Government in the area of assistive births, surgeries among several others, craved for more support from the populace so that the hospital can continue to deliver on its mandates.
He called for willful compliance with all medical guidelines and subsisting government orders imposed to reduce the spread of the deadly corruption coronavirus, saying that the resources being expended in the management of the virus could be channeled to other priority areas if Lagosians take responsibilities for their personal safety.
The Mum’s packs, baby essentials and other baby gifts were presented to the babies and their parents by the Wife of the Governor at the various hospitals visited.