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 MembersThe 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.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 CenterIn 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 AlimoshoReacting 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.
Friday, 17 October 2014
Thursday, 2 October 2014
•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