By Moses Adeniyi
The First Lady of Lagos State, Dr. (Mrs.) Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu has kicked-off the 2019 Conference of the Committee of Wives of Lagos State Officials (COWLSO) with a visit and awareness on the biggest Institute of Maternal and Child Health in Nigeria, popularly known as the Ayinke House.
The visit and awareness on the Health Institute, located in the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH, is a part of the preparations activities to herald this year’s COWLSO Conference.
The First Lady who doubles as the Chairperson of the Committee, said that the visit, awareness and the presentation of gifts to patients at the Ayinke House, is a demonstration of the Committee’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
She stressed that effort will be put in place to make intensive awareness on the health capacities of the Ayinke House.
She said that with the capacities of the Institute, Lagosians could have access to standard neo and post natal healthcare services without having to travel abroad.
Commenting on the capacity of the Maternal and Child Institute, the First Lady said, “Today we are doing the kick-off of our COWLSO conference. We decided to do our CSR here at LASUTH, Ayinke House.
“I am very happy that LASUTH is the first place we are doing our kick-off. We still notice that the Ayinke House is still under-utilised and I think with our awareness, we will make people know that Ayinke House is ready to take 170 patients into it’s wards.
“We’ve identified that Ayinke House is purpose built. Doctors and Nurses are willing to do their work. So It’s left for the Patients now to come in.”
She added, “You don’t need to go abroad to go and have your babies. You can come here to have the same thing you have abroad inside here in Lagos State.
Sanwo-Olu said the visit is scheduled to know the state of the Facility and create awareness in line with the commitment to actualise the six pillars of development of the current Administration encapsulated in the Project T.H.E.M.E.S.
She stressed further, “We are hoping, we will send the message out there that there is need for us to partner with Ayinke House. There is need for us to invest in our Patients, Doctors and Nurses, so that we can deliver good health to our people of Lagos, which is one of the ideals of the pillar T.H.E.M.E.S.
“We have come here and have identified somethings that we can do and pick up as a little project; Endowment Fund for the paediatric surgeries that are being done here.”
The First Lady noted that though there is a government sponsored 0-12 free healthcare for the children, individuals and private stakeholders needs to partner with the government, to support the Endowment Fund Initiative for paediatric surgeries.
“We need to also partner with them (the Institute) on an endowment fund and encourage a lot of people to also partner with us on the Endowment Fund for paediatric surgeries.” She said.
Welcoming and appreciating the First Lady and members of COWLSO, the Chief Medical Director, Prof. Adetokunbo Fabamwo, lauded the Endowment Fund Initiative, describing it as an idea in the right perspective.
He however urged privileged individuals and corporate organisations to contribute to the Fund to further support the effort of the government in improving the health condition of Lagosians.
Fabanwo said “the project is an Endowment Fund for children. The government has a free health policy for 0-12 children. It has been on since 1999, but we need to assist the government.
“We want to appeal to high network individuals, and corporate organisations, to contribute to the fund.”
According to him, some of the children who are paediatric patients, need cancer care which requires huge funds the government may not be able to cater for all alone.
“I think it’s a very laudable project. I pray that this works out and we are seizing this opportunity to call on individuals and corporate organisations to come out and support the First Lady’s project; the Endowment Fund for the treatment of needy babies. It’s very commendable and we welcome it. Fabamwo added.
It has been gathered that the patronage of the Ayinke House has not really been commensurate to the peak of what the capacity of the Facility offers.
According to information gathered from the CMD, it is envisaged that with proper awareness the facility will come to full capacity before the end of year 2019.
It was gathered that though the facility has a 170 bed capacity, the highest number of patients it has ever had at a time since inception of operation is 50;
thus showing that low level of awareness of the Facility among the Lagos public.
The Ayinke House is believed to be Nigeria’s biggest Maternity and Child Health Institute, which was recently upgraded from an 80-bed Facility to a 170-bed healthcare Institute with state-of-the-art medical equipment, as well as information technology services.
In addition to the Saturday visit, the First Lady further led the COWLSO group on an awareness walk.
This was in addition to an environmental sanitation exercise earlier led by the First Lady and members of the Committe as parts of its Corporate Social Responsibility