Friday, 17 October 2014

Kerosene for delivery: Lagos Health Centers Demand Patients Come With Fuel For Child Birth

With less than six months to the 2015 general election, many residents of Lagos are yet to fully receive the dividends of democracy in the health sector.

A visit to two primary health centers in Alimosho Local government area reveals that lack of medical workers, epileptic power supply, inadequate space to house the health centers are challenges hampering effective delivery of health care services in the area.

Alimosho local government is the largest local government in the state with thirty primary health centers catering for its over two million residents. 
It accounts for majority of votes during the 2011 general election that resulted in the re-election of Governor Babatunde Fashola. But the area can barely boast of standard health care services in its primary health care centers.

Orisunbare health care center situated along Ejigbo road was established in 2008 and is meant to cater for an estimated 40,000 residents but it has only one medical doctor, who is a youth corp member. The health center recently started a 24hour service delivery after a ward health committee was set up. The ward health committee members who were selected from the community development association in Oguntade/Bameke ward in Alimosho. They were trained by PATH 2 with support from Lagos State Civil Society Partnership LASCOP. According to Miss Chichi Nkire a member of LASCOP, the Ward Health Committee members after undergoing a training in Simple Management Skills were tasked with the function of liaising between the health center and residents in there community. "They work towards the smooth running operations of the health centre by mobilizing community members to make use of the health center and also work with community leaders to simplify concept that may seem worrisome to residents. For example, they are still some families that will not bring their children for immunization and other essential treatments. We hold meetings with the Baales to educate them on the need for children to be immunized against killers diseases and all these treatments are free".

                          Orisunbare Ward Health Committee Members

The head of the Ward Health Committee in Orisunbare Health Center Alhaja Hafsat Adebisi said before they were trained the health center was not rendering antenatal and immunization services due to the state of the health center. But after the training, they learnt how to mobilize resources and through communal efforts were able to raise money in wiring and installing ceiling fans in the health centers. "Mothers use to feel uncomfortable in bringing their babies because the health center was always hot and people will be sweating but we took care of that. We have also partnered with a fuel station in the community to supply fuel that we use in powering the generator donated to the health center. All these we were able to achieve through communal assistance. Our health center now operates a 24-hour service but we believe we can do more. We want residents to know that their is a functional health center in the community and it is for their benefit but if it is not in a good condition nobody will want to come, she stressed.

At Alabata primary health care center situated along Akowonjo road in Alimosho Local Government Area, the health center also operate a 24-hour service. According to the Chief Matron, Mrs Grace Okpadotun the health center receive an average of 250 patients daily with some other health care services been accessed in Isheri due to lack of space. We have limited space for our operations but the number of patients that come here daily is overwhelming but we are managing to attend to them the best way we can.

           Dr. Kayode Odufunwa, Medical Officer for Health Alimosho 

The Medical Officer for Health in Alimosho Local Government Area Dr. Kayode Odufunwa explained that paucity of funds, epileptic power supply and lack of space are among the key challenges facing effective delivery of healthcare services in the council. We have some fridges given to us by donor agency and are been powered by solar energy. These are used in storing vaccines and other essential drugs that need to be stored in a cool place. We believe we can do more in ensuring residents in Alimosho Local Government area get the best of health care services.

                  Solar-powered fridge at Orisunbare Primary Health Center

                     Fridges donated to Primary Health Centers in Alimosho

In a chat with some women attending ante-natal care, it was discovered  that among requirements listed for child delivery is half gallon of kerosene. When asked the need for it, the women said the health care center use it in boiling hot water when they need it in preparing tea or bathing their babies. Another man Mr. John Okowehor confirmed it by saying he was mandated to bring 10 liters of kerosene when his wife put to bed some years ago. According to him, it is an old practice and I don't think they will ever stop it he emphasized. 

                    Maternity List for women attending Antenatal in Alimosho

Reacting to the kerosene requirement for child delivery, the Chief Matron of Alabata Primary Health Center Mrs. Grace Okpadotun said the women usually request for hot water for bathing after child birth and we use the kerosene to boil water for them. Is it my money that I will use to buy kerosene for them? She asked. Recently in a round table discussion with journalists, the Lagos State Commissioner for Health Dr. Jide Idris said he was not aware that women were been required to bring kerosene as requirements for child delivery. But at Alabata Primary Health Care Center in Alimosho Local Government Area, it is among items listed for child delivery. 

Residents in the most populated local government area in Lagos are expectant that primary health centers within their community would be functional, well equipped with needed facilities and medical workers, so the general saying the health is among the dividends of democracy would be a reality and not a cliche in the mega-city of Lagos.

NPA, NIMET collaborate for full coverage of Nigerian coast … Establish joint committee

BOOSTING NPA-NMET SYNERGY ... L-R: The Director-General of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET), Dr Anthony Anuforom, recieveing a plaque from the Managing Director the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mallam Habib Abdulahi, when Anuforom visited Abdullahi in his office at the NPA House, Marina, Lagos State, South-West Nigeria.

The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) is to provide meteorological equipment to all pilotage districts within the organisation, to assist the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) in taking care of the entire coastal areas of its operations.

The NPA Managing Director, Mallam Habib Abdullahi, stated this while receiving the NIMET Director-General, Dr. Anthony  Anuforom, who paid him a courtesy visit in his office at the NPA House, Marina, Lagos State, South-West Nigeria.

Abdullahi noted that, in recent years, there have been technological advancements in weather forecasting, especially in the aviation sector, which, according to him, could be replicated in the maritime industry.

The NPA boss explained that the organisation’s provision of the meteorological equipment for NIMET is also in line with the NPA’s corporate social responsibility (CSR), having considered NIMET’s activities as vital to the operations of the NPA.

Also speaking, the NIMET Director-General, who was accompanied by some top officials of the Agency, said that the visit to the NPA was to reemphasise the existing collaboration between both organisations.

Anuforom suggested that the NPA should set up a committee with membership drawn from both organisations to work out timelines and terms of references needed for effective collaborative efforts between the duo.

Consequently, the committee was promptly set up, with the following the pair of Assistant General Manager, Harbours, Captain Jerome Angyunwe; and Senior Manager, Radio, Mr Sam N. Nwigwe, representing the NPA as members.

The committee is expected to develop strategies and modalities for the maintenance of facilities for uninterrupted provision of services, as well as the benefits of the collaboration between the two organiations, among others.

Apart from the respective bosses of the NPA and NIMET, present at the meeting were the Executive Director, Marine and Operations, NPA, Engineer David Omonibeke; General Manager, Marine and Operations, NPA, Mallam Mohammed Bulangu; Assistant General Manager, Harbours, NPA, Captain Jerome Angyunwe; Director, Administration and Supply, NIMET, S.J Moral; Head, International Unit, NIMET, Dr. E. Afiesimama; and Chief Commercial Officer, NIMET, Ms. Ifeoma Ebede.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Nigeria Environment in the Past 100 Years By Ayo Okulaja

Nigeria came into being on January 1, 1914 with the formal amalgamation of the Northern and Southern Protectorates of the British Territory. The country has therefore been in a festive mood this year to celebrate 100 years of existence.

The Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Faculty of Public Health, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, in collaboration with the Nigerian Environmental Study/Action Team (NEST), joined in observing the landmark via a stock-taking symposium on "The Nigerian Environment - Past 100 Years and the Future" that focused on the nation's total environment.

The Nigerian Environment Centenary Symposium (1914-2014), which had “The Nigerian Environment: Past 100 years and the future”, held at the University of Ibadan, courtesy of the institution’s Department of Environmental Health Sciences (in the Faculty of Public Health of the College of Medicine) as well as the Nigerian Environmental Study Action Team (NEST).
The symposium and book concept, chaired by Professor Emeritus Akin Mabogunje, took stock of Nigeria’s total environment as regards what has been achieved so far and the directions to move forward.

Speakers were invited based on their expertise, past scientific contributions and vision for the nation’s growth and development. They reviewed the trend, major developments and lapses in safeguarding the Nigerian environment over the past century, and drawing a blueprint for future development.
The papers presented will be compiled into a book that will form a standard reference point for future generations.

The thematic topics were: Land Resources, Water Resources, Atmosphere, Biosphere, Coastal and Marine Environments, Energy and Environment, Environment and Health, Urbanisation, Industry, Waste Management, Environmental Education and Awareness Raising, Environmental Disasters and Emergencies, Environmental Governance and the Economics of Managing the Nigerian Environment.

In a presentation 100 years of Environmental Awareness Raising in Nigeriaby Editor-in-Chief of EnviroNews Nigeria, Mr. Michael Simire highlighted the following, stating that the toxic waste dump in the Niger-Delta area of Koko was a catalyst for media reporting on the environment in Nigeria:

The disclosure in 1988 of a toxic waste dump in the port town of Koko in present day Delta State changed the hitherto indifferent attitude of Nigerians to their environment. The media itself took more interest in reporting the environment

Nigeria, which, before this incident, was ill-equipped to manage such crisis, then put in place institutional capacity and legislation, leading to establishment of FEPA, which later became Federal Ministry of Environment.

Parastatals such as NODSRA and NESREA, etc soon emerged.

Nigerian media has undergone a transformation

Standard of infrastructure, equipment and personnel has improved

However, operatives still lack tools and equipment, job security and opportunities for training

The media exhibits a retinue of private investors whose interest vary from profit motive to the gains of political propaganda

Despite adopting the private broadcasting scheme, govt highhandedness remains a worrisome fear hanging over the media in Nigeria

Atimes leading to a cowed journalism unable to question authority