By Olasunkanmi Akoni & Monsur Olowopejo
THE Lagos State Government has disclosed that the Trauma/Accident and Emergency Centre at the old Toll Gate end of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway will be commissioned within the next one month.
The state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, who disclosed this yesterday while on an inspection tour of the facility, explained that the centre, which is basically meant for accidents victims, would provide accident victims with first class basic emergency health care before being taken to the hospitals.
Idris noted that governmentâ€™s decision to construct the centre was informed by the alarming statistics of accident victim along the nationâ€™s major highways, adding that construction works are currently on-going along Lekki-Epe Expressway and Lagos-Badagry Expressway of similar Trauma/Accident and Emergency Centre.
He explained that the centres consisted of a reception, wards, treatment room and operating theatre among others and would help to reduce the response time and distance usually involved from the point the ambulance services takes the accident victims to the hospital.
â€œThese centres have been strategically and properly located on the expressways that have been identified as prone to accidents. In addition, they will reduce the pressure on our regular hospitals as they (the centres) will ensure that adequate basic medicare is provided for accident victims before being transferred to the regular hospitals and the ultimate beneficiaries are indeed the people themselves,â€ he said.
Idris opined that the state government was attacking the issue of accident emergency frontally and holistically particularly in the areas of infrastructure development which the construction of the three centres representedâ€” the increased access of accident victims to prompt and adequate health care; capacity building of the medical personnel involved in emergency team in basic emergency medical care; and the increase in the fleet of the Lagos State Ambulance Service (LASAMBUS).
The Commissioner opined that the staff that would work at the Toll Gate Center has been employed and are currently undergoing training on various aspects of emergency health care.
He recalled the recent procurement of 10 additionally Mobile Intensive Care Units valued at N300m with enhanced capabilities as further testimony of governmentâ€™sÂ desire to further strengthen and revamp the state governmentâ€™s emergency response operations with a view to achieving its objective of having a robust accident emergency response team.
Idris noted that each of the new mobile clinic which he noted took the total tally of mobile clinics in the State Emergency Response team to 26, has improved capacity over and above the old mobile clinic adding that some of the features of the new mobile clinic include Twin Cross main stretcher with matter, belts and floor fastener; two Oxygen cylinders of 100 liters each; Scoop Stretcher; Twice foldable reserve stretcher; extrication device; Collar Cerviflex; Ventilator Spencer 170; Emergency Case Circulation; Accu Vacu Suction Pump; and Sphygmomanometer.
However, the state government has again reiterated its commitment to the reactivation of its Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) in order to make healthcare services available to the people at the grass roots.
Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos StateÂ who made this known yesterday at the flag-off of a three-day mini medical mission within the jurisdiction of Ikeja, Ojodu and Onigbongbo Local Government and Local Council Development Areas respectively noted that the long military rule the nation went through has no doubt impacted negatively on the infrastructure at all levels of healthcare in the state.
Fashola who spoke through his Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Prince Adeniyi Oyemade pointed out that the breakdown of healthcare services at the Primary Health Centers in the country has led to unnecessary congestion of patients at the few secondary and tertiary centres thereby resulting, over time, in the drastic reduction in quality time-spent on each patient during consultation.
The Governor explained that it was in realization of this that his administration has therefore decided to put an end to this deplorable state of the healthcare delivery system in the state by strengthening the Primary Health Centers which, he added, are the entry point into the healthcare system from which effective referral systems are being established.
â€œThe reactivation of services in all the Primary Healthcare Centres in the State is our primary goal and we have commenced this through this three days mini medical mission programme to Local Government Areas and Local Council Development Areas in different part of the stateâ€, he said.
Fashola opined that a scenario whereby Primary Health Centers are sometimes found under lock and key especially when services are needed at night should be a thing of the past just as the long distances between healthcare facilities and residential areas which usually prevent accessibility to healthcare should be bridged hence the state governmentâ€™s resolve to have at least a Primary Health Centers in each ward in Lagos State.