FUEL SUBSIDY PALLIATIVES: LAGOS HOSPITALS OFFER FREE ANTE-NATAL, CHILD DELIVERY SERVICES
By Gbenga Soloki
Lagos State General Hospitals and Primary Health Centres are currently providing free antenatal care and child delivery services to pregnant women residents in Lagos State as part of the rolled-out relief measures announced by the State Government to cushion the hardship being faced by residents as a result of fuel subsidy removal by the Federal Government.
Governor Sanwo-Olu directed free maternal health services at hospitals in Lagos to ease impacts of fuel subsidy removal.
Governor Sanwo-Olu had earlier mentioned that his directive to the Lagos State Government-owned primary and secondary health facilities to offer free medical services is geared towards ensuring that the health of families is taken care of while easing the worry of financial constraints and increasing access to quality health care delivery in Lagos State.
Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Dr. Olusegun Ogboye monitored hospital compliance with the Governor's directive for free ante-natal care and child delivery services. He believes this will improve maternal and child health in Lagos.
Ogboye, who expressed satisfaction at the level of compliance with the free ante-natal and child delivery services in hospitals visited, explained that the Governor Sanwo-Olu led administration recognizing the prime place of maternal and child health in the society thoughtfully issued the directive for free medical intervention to pregnant women to cushion the effects of fuel subsidy removal on expectant families.
Ogboye stated further that the free medical intervention initiative is an immediate priority directive by Governor Sanwo-Olu to cover the cost of ante-natal care including the cost of registration and ANC clinics as well as normal and cesarean section child delivery services.
The Permanent Secretary noted that the free health intervention which seeks to increase access to quality maternal and child health services, is in line with the State Government’s Universal Health Coverage attainment drive.
He added that the Lagos State Government has over the years been putting in place various health strategies and initiatives geared towards providing succour to the poor and less privileged in the society who require health care services and cannot afford the cost, such that no one is left behind in the drive to ensure access to health care delivery services in fulfillment of the UHC goal.
While restating the commitment of the present administration to the provision of access to quality and efficient health care services, Ogboye assured citizens that pregnant women who are registered at the Lagos State Government primary and secondary health facilities for ante-natal care services would benefit from the free medical intervention until it is discontinued.
He also disclosed that the State Government’s renewed commitment to put in place strategies geared towards the reduction and eradication of maternal, child and infant mortality as well as the general improvement in all maternal and child health indices.
Speaking in the same vein, the Medical Director of Ifako-Ijaiye General Hospital, Dr. Bamidele Mustapha informed that the facility complied with the free health intervention almost immediately, with no fewer than 30 people already benefiting from free ante-natal and child delivery services including caesarean sections, at no cost to the beneficiaries.
Bamidele stated further that the State Government has been very supportive and committed to the welfare and well-being of mothers and children especially with regard to quality, efficient and accessible health service delivery in the State, adding that the provision of the free ante-natal services had put smiles on the faces of residents who originally could not afford the cost of delivery.
A beneficiary of the free child delivery service at the Ifako-Ijaiye General Hospital, Mrs. Oluwademilade Mustapha who delivered a baby boy through a caesarian section lauded the free medical service initiative of the State Government.
She thanked the team of medical staff who attended to her, noting that the attitude of the nurses who attended to her was excellent contrary to the opinion she had before coming to the hospital.
Another beneficiary, Mrs. Eniola Samuel, who was also delivered a baby boy at the General Hospital, Isolo thanked God and the team of medical staff at the facility for saving her life from the complications she encountered during childbirth.
She expressed satisfaction at the quality of healthcare she received free of charge. While appreciating the Governor of Lagos State for introducing the initiative, Samuel noted that the intervention helped save her life.