By Chioma Obinna
AS year 2010 rolls in, Federal government has been enjoined to develop policies and programmes that would fast track Nigerians efforts to achieve the Millenuum Development Goals as well as improve the healthcare delivery services.
Former Minister of Health, Prof.Adenike Grange who made the call shortly after the Board Meeting of Otunba Tunwase National Paediatric Centre (OTNPC) at Ijebu â€“Ode, Ogun State, last week, noted that the country already had enough healthcare policies and strategies, which needed to be implemented to the fullest to ensure better healthcare sector in the new year.
She said although the country can right now boost of handful of experts in the different fields in health sector, â€œ many of them are already locked by other programmesâ€, which, she said, were not helping the growth of the sector in a desirable manner.
Grange, who is also the ProvostÂ OTNPC stressed the need for government to create an enabling environment that would attract Nigerian medical experts in Diaspora back into the country to help in developing certain areas of healthcare in the country.
Condemning possible integration of Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs) with orthodox medicine as away of reducing infant and maternal mortality rate stated that the fact remains that TBAs are not educated really and they are not properly monitored.
â€œThese people are not educated and not monitored and it will be very difficult to integrate.â€
The Provost said advanced technology in delivery, resuscitating and monitory babies; and looking after their mothers had make it inadvisable to â€œfollow the old time proposal that TBA should be integrated.â€
She further advocated for the establishment of more outreaches or sending out of community health extension workers who, she said, over time would overtake the activities of TBAs and provide â€œincrease access to trained birth attendants.
â€œWe have enough policies, plans and strategies. We just have to implement those policies and strategies and we will reach there.â€
She stated that OTNPC was much interested in helping government in reducing mortality rate in the country and, therefore, was making frantic efforts to establish departments for paediatritic heart and eye surgeries in the centre, which she said currently provided â€œ integrated mother and child health service for pregnant womenâ€ free of charge.
While charging the members of the Board to create avenues to bring in fund to sustain the hospital, the Founder of OTNCP and Chairman of First City Monument Bank, Otunba Tunwase Subomi Balogun reiterated that the children hospital was created to save the lives of innocent Nigerian children free of charge.
He called on kind hearted Nigerians to join him in giving hope to hopeless children and their mothers through the Centre.