By Kazeem Ugbodaga
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Thursday explained why he has not yet taken the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
Many governors have taken the vaccine but Sanwo-Olu is yet to take it even when the state took delivery of the vaccines early Tuesday morning.
Speaking during the official unveiling of Evercare Hospital, a tertiary health centre in Lekki, Lagos on Thursday, Sanwo-Olu said he just wanted to abide by the rule that healthcare personnel should take the vaccines first.
He said hopefully, he would take the vaccine on Friday.
“I just want to follow the rules. The rules are that the health workers at the frontline should first take it. So, I am pleading with the Commissioner of Health to be gracious and let me also take.
“So, they have given me a date, tomorrow (Friday) and I am hoping that they would have started giving it to the health workers.”
However, Sanwo-Olu restated his administration’s commitment to improve healthcare infrastructure as well as make services more affordable and accessible for residents in Lagos State.
He said his administration is working with the private sector to reduce medical tourism and brain drain through provision of infrastructure and retraining of personnel in the health sector.
The governor disclosed that his administration spent billions of naira last year on procurement of health equipment, adding that the equipment are on the way and when they arrive, they will complement what the country has in public health facilities.
He said: “For us as a government, we have raised our strength on health, especially our capital expenditure on health. We are currently renovating to a world class, six of our general hospitals. We are currently building two new general hospitals. We are building a children hospital. We are building an international research centre. All these are meant to complement what we have currently.
“We will also scale up tertiary health centre, Lagos State Teaching Hospital (LASUTH). We will be discussing with you in the next coming months what we want to turn LASUTH to. All of these are to make healthcare accessible and affordable.
“We are trying to stop medical tourism; people traveling several thousand kilometres to go and secure or get health treatment. With good facilities, we will bring down the total cost of health care and provide quality health care.”
Also speaking, Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Professor Akin Abayomi, said the Lagos State Government will create enabling environment for private sector to change the face of healthcare services in the State and Nigeria.