By Seun Ibiyemi
The General Manager, Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA), Mr Oluwadamilola Emmanuel, has said that the Lagos State Government launched a floating clinic boat to enhance safety on waterways.
Emmanuel made the disclosure during the floating clinic boat launch at the Five Cowries Terminal, Falomo, Ikoyi, Lagos on Wednesday.
He said the LASWA in collaboration with Ministry of Health, the Lagos State Ambulance Services and the Primary Health Care Board launched the floating clinic boat together.
Emmanuel said that they would be going out for medical missions around the riverine areas of Lagos State.
“LASWA have been gradually seeing safety on waters and we keep improving on a yearly basis.
“This is just another dimension to further add to the integrated system of emergency and rescue.
“What we are playing at also is to have our own core emergency and response boats with the jetties control room which will be launched in two months time.
“Apart from the floating clinic which is going to respond to emergency, we are going to have the core emergency response team which is made up of local divers, boat captain, and others,” Emmanuel said.
Senior Special Assistant to Governor of Lagos on Health, Dr Oreoluwa Finnih, noted the realisation that Lagos had lots of rural communities along the waterways which were not connected with the mainstream of Lagos.
Finnih said that the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu realised the importance of medical services getting to those areas.
She said that the boat was multi-functional as well as an emergency vessel to reach out to the communities that were from the city.
“Most of the far areas have network and there is always some place you will be able to reach out to in case an emergency.
“The floating clinic boat would have two functions such as outreach and emergence rescue.
“The boat has 400 horsepower giving it a higher speed capacity to reach accident area within the waterways in no time,” she said.
Permanent Secretary, Lagos Ministry of Health, Dr Olusegun Ogboye, said that the floating clinic was part of the ministry’s initiative to extend ambulance services to the waterways.
Ogboye said the launch was a strong collaboration among various arms of governments, adding that the floating boat belonged to LASWA while it would be operated by the ministry of health.
“The floating clinic boat is mainly to due with emergency on water but to also provide outreach services to riverine communities.
“One of the first task that this boat will be doing is to join us in the campaign in Lagos State to ensure that people take vaccines, even the COVID-19 vaccine in riverine areas.
“LASWA provides the boat and will be responsible for the maintenance of the boat while the ministry of health will provide human resources and consumables for health care provisions,” he said.
He pledged the state government’s commitment to improving the numbers as time goes on to meet the needs of Lagos residents.
Assistant Director, Lagos State Ambulance Services (LASAMBUS), Mrs Beatrice Makinde, said their job would be made easier due to the emergency aids attached to the boat.
Makinde said that before the development, it was difficult to get medical access on waterways.
She stated that the initiative would go a long way to save more lives as a result of accident on water.
She said that apart from rescuing accident victims on water that LASAMBUS would be there to assist any boat passenger needing medical attention of any illnesses while on board.