Commissions other critical medical infrastructure
By Chioma Obinna
The Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Wednesday, flagged off the construction of 150 new Massey Street Children hospital even as he commissioned other critical medical infrastructure in fulfillment of his Greater Lagos agenda.
Other Projects launched by the Governor include the Oxygen Plant built in partnership with Total; Triage and Oxygen Centre, championed by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Clinton Access Initiative; and the New Multi-purpose Lagos State Blood Transfusion Service Headquarters, all located inside Gbagada General Hospital.
Sanwo-Olu also performed a groundbreaking ceremony to signal the commencement of construction of new medical infrastructure projects, including; the new 150-bed Massey Street Children Hospital located at Adeniji Adele area of Lagos Island and a New Doctors’ Quarters to be located inside the Gbagada General Hospital.
Speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony for the New Massey Street Children’s Hospital, the Governor said reflects his administration’s unwavering determination to bridge all gaps in the health sector.
“As a responsive government, we identified the inadequacy of present Massey Street Children’s Hospital to continue to meet the needs of a megacity with a population of 22 million people. The hospital was established in 1914 as the First General Outpatient Clinic and Referral Centre in Lagos State and was converted to a full-fledged Pediatrics Hospital in 1961.
“As a result of the steady and increasing number of patients who daily throng the hospital to access medical services, the capacity has been overstretched and must be urgently upgraded to provide quality service to patients.
“Guided by the Second Pillar of our T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda which encompasses Health and the Environment, we are rebuilding, remodeling, and repositioning the Massey Children’s Hospital into a 7-Storey, 150-bed, Ultra-Modern and fit-for-purpose Pediatrics Programmed and Emergency General Hospital.”
According to the Governor, the new and well-equipped Massey Children’s Hospital when completed will provide secondary integrated care services and acute care to both inpatients and outpatients in line with international best practices and also help to engender a significant reduction in infant and maternal mortality.
He added that the project, like others he had commissioned, are an integral part of the Greater Lagos Vision adding that it presents another unique opportunity to advance the cause of Lagos State and improve the overall wellbeing of Lagosians.
“At the inception of this administration, we promised you lasting and audacious reforms in critical sectors, which we encapsulated in our T.HE.M.E.S Agenda. I am proud to say that in the last two years, we have walked the talk, by not only initiating people-centered policies but by resiliently implementing projects that enhance the collective wellbeing of our people.
“We are honoured by the trust reposed in us and we will continue to seek new opportunities to respond to the infrastructure needs of Lagosians: This Government is driven by the desire to build a formidable and equitable State with productive and healthy citizens.
“We firmly believe that, when completed, these projects will positively impact the lives of the good people and residents of Lagos State including those who work and do business on this part of Lagos Island”, Sanwo-Olu stated.
Launching completed medical infrastructures projects at Gbagada General which includes Oxygen Plant, Triage and Oxygen Centre, and the New Blood Transfusion Service Headquarters and breaking ground for the proposed Doctors’ Quarters, the Governor said provision of quality healthcare that guarantees comfort and longevity is a fundamental pillar of his administration’s T.H.E.M.E.S developmental agenda. Sanwo-Olu added that he will continue to implement audacious reforms in the health sector because the continued well-being of Lagosians is non-negotiable. “These facilities: the new Blood Transfusion Service Office, the Oxygen Plant and the Oxygen Triage Centre are vital projects that will scale up our most recent achievements in the healthcare sector.
“I am thrilled that these facilities are being commissioned alongside the groundbreaking of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)/ Chevron Doctor’s 24-unit quarters, a corporate social responsibility project of both organizations”.
He noted that the Gbagada Oxygen and Triage Center is an essential part of our COVID-19 Management Response Strategy and one of the 10 Permanent Triage and Oxygen Centers constructed across Lagos to provide swift Emergency Oxygen Therapy to those who require it.
“Each of these centers is equipped with beds, oxygen concentrators, thermometers, drugs, and consumables. The centers are managed by qualified medical personnel who have previously worked at the isolation centers across the State.
“Although these critical facilities were set up to effectively address the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, they have become a crucial part of our health infrastructure that will cater to health challenges that may not be related to COVID-19”, Sanwo-Olu stated.
The Governor also explained that the Blood Transfusion Service Office is also a critical facility that will enhance the capacity of medical personnel to manage emergency situations that require blood transfusion.
“With this new facility and through voluntary blood donation, we will increase our capacity to meet the estimated 220,000 units of blood required for a population of over 22 million people.
“As we prepare to celebrate the second anniversary of this Administration, we are more determined than ever before to raise the standard and quality of our healthcare system to meet the healthcare needs of all Lagosians.
“We will continue to ensure that all Lagosians have access to quality healthcare irrespective of their socio-economic status. Although there is still so much to be done, I am proud of the considerable progress we have made in the last two years”, Sanwo-Olu stated.
On his part, the State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi said the health of Lagosians is a priority to the present administration, hence, the need for medical transformation of medical infrastructure through the refurbishment of existing health facilities and building of new fit-for-purpose medical structures with attention on low energy consumption, easy maintenance, Infection Prevention Control, and staff and patient comfort.
Abayomi disclosed that the New Massey Street Children’s Hospital will be the first product of the medical blueprint strategy championed by the Governor for transforming the State’s healthcare infrastructures.
“The Ministry of Health is working closely with the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, Ministry of Physical Planning, Lands Bureau, Water Corporation and other line Ministries and Agencies on this grand project
“The building is sitting on 4000 square meters, it is on a site of 14000 square meters and will be 150 beds, multidisciplinary specialist paediatric hospital probably the only one of its kind in Sub-Saharan Africa.
“This hospital will take care of the welfare of children in Lagos as the old Massey Street has been doing. The facility is designed to treat all diseases that affects our children, to make sure we have healthy young children that will contribute to the economy of Lagos State”.
At the commissioning and ground-breaking event at Gbagada General Hospital, Abayomi said the State government is working systematically to rehabilitate Gbagada General Hospital adding that commissioned projects are part of the rehabilitation plan.
“There’s a lot of work to be done within the main hospital but these are allied facilities that we need to put in place. Notwithstanding we have a master plan for Gbagada therefore we plead with all staff doctors and staff in the hospital to be patient”, he said.
The Commissioner said the newly commissioned projects will improve the Lagos State COVID19 resilience, especially the Oxygen plant and the Triage and Oxygen Centre that will help greatly in case management and sample collection.
“To address the issues around the shortage of blood in Lagos, we have repurposed the Gbagada Centre of the Lagos State Blood Transfusion Service initially developed for COVID19 response and has made it the headquarters of blood transfusion service in Lagos
“Our strategy has been to invest in permanent facilities rather than temporary, so we can repurpose as the need is required. The comfort of our health workers is very necessary for quality and better healthcare delivery in Lagos hence the need for international standard staff quarters in our hospitals
“Moving forward, all new projects must have staff quarters and we should also retrospectively go backward to our big hospitals that don’t have staff quarters to rectify the situation which is the reason for this project, essentially to make our staff comfortable and retard the brain drain out of Nigeria especially in Lagos State”.