Prostitution, abortions on the increase in Lagos
Worried by the high rate of young ladies and women engaging in prostitution for survival as well as termination of unwanted pregnancy in the country, Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State, had urged the nation’s teeming young ladies to take to noble professions by refraining from prostitution and such unwholesome acts.
Speaking at a recent commissioning of the Maternal and Child Health Center and School of Nursing Complex, sited in Alimosho General Hospital, Igando area of the state, Fashola, said such unholy profession add noting to the nation’s economy.
It will be recalled that the state Nursing School, was in 2006 shutdown by the government and relocated to its new site within Alimosho General Hospital, Igando for fresh operation.
According to Fashola: “This new commissioned nursing school will offer the young ladies of easy virtues the opportunity to pursue career in medical profession and improve medical service in the state.”
The governor explained “the institution was cited inside the Alimosho General Hospital for the nursing students to have access to practical studies during their training with assurance that the school would provide opportunity for young girls in the state to take to noble profession.
The governor maintained: “The school attested to the commitment of the Lagos State Government to quality health care delivery. When we moved the school from Awolowo, people said we have sold it, but all along, we were planning to site the school within a general hospital where the students can have access to practical training.
“The school is ready based on our commitment towards ensuring that our girls take a career path that is honourable. It is a lot better than the job some do at night.
Harping on the Maternal and Child Health Center also commissioned at the general hospital, he added that the health center will save women from the stress of having to travel a long distance to access health care during child birth.
According to him, “This will be the seventh Maternal and Child Health Center we are commissioning. The eight one is nearing completion and it’s at Lekki and we are going to ten. The ninth one will be sited at Epe while the tenth one will be at Badagry.”
Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris however, said that the maternal and child mortality reduction, MCMR, strategies employed by the state government to address the twin issues of maternal and child deaths in the state was already yielding positive results as evident in some key performance indicators.
Idris noted that the MCMR strategies were fashioned towards addressing some specific major causes of maternal and child mortality in the state.
He said: “We have run the MCMR programme for over a year now and we have been collecting data to see how far we have gone, what else we need to do and if there is a need for us to amend or change our strategies. But from what we have seen so far, there is no need for us to change our strategy”.
The commissioner noted that the design of the strategy was geared towards addressing some delays in seeking assistance and accessing qualitative care for pregnant women and children stressing that public enlightenment, infrastructure, quality of care had been identified as areas that needed to be addressed in the MCMR design.
“These strategies were developed to address three delays which are; delay in seeking appropriate medical help for obstetric emergencies for reasons of cost, lack of recognition of an emergency and lack of access to information and gender inequity; delay in reaching an appropriate health facility for reasons of distance, infrastructure and transport; and delay in receiving adequate care when a facility is reached because of sub-optimal complement of human resources, inadequate utilities such as electricity, water and unavailability of medical supplies”,Idris explained.
He stated that a major thrust of the MCMR strategy was advocacy and public enlightenment and sensitization campaigns which includes; advocacy and sensitization campaigns at the community level, enlightenment and health promotion activities including provision of radio jingles, documentaries, information, education and communication materials on maternal and child health interventions.
“One major thing we have done in this regard is to go to different senatorial districts to enlighten the public on this programme and we divided the State into four senatorial districts and we have held four senatorial town hall meetings in Oshodi-Isolo, Ibeju-lekki, Surulere and Amuwo-Odofin for Lagos West 1, Lagos East, Lagos Central and Lagos West 2 senatorial districts respectively”, the Commissioner said.
Idris added that the town hall meetings provided government with an avenue to engage the communities on effort geared towards MCMR rate with a view to generating interest and participation for the programme, stressing that government had been furnished with firsthand feedback on the strength and weakness of the programme and other maternal and child health issues through the meetings.
According to him, plans were also in top gear to continue the advocacy and sensitization campaigns especially in communities where the maternal and child health indices were not encouraging. Hence, town hall meetings would be done on local government area basis with Ajeromi local government area as take-off point.
He posited that the need for interaction with the people at the grassroots cannot be over emphasized in lieu of the need to address grey issues and involve the people in the programme implementation to achieve the desired results as they have crucial roles to play in the success of the campaign.
On infrastructural development, the commissioner stated that a total of 57 primary health care centres offering 24-hour services in each of the 57 Local Government and Local Council Development Areas were renovated and provided with emergency obstetric equipment to enable them function optimally as basic emergency obstetric centres.
“As part of our infrastructural development strategy, we commenced the construction of 10 Maternal and Child Centers (MCCs) at strategic areas in the state; seven of which have been completed and have commenced operations. The remaining three are at varying degrees of completion”.
The MCCs, located at: Ikorodu, Ifako-Ijaiye, Isolo, Gbaja in Surulere, Ajeromi-Ifelodun, Amuwo-Odofin . Lekki, Epe and Badagry, are to serve as additional exclusive maternal and child health referral centers to the Priamry Health Centre, PHC, facilities.
Free kits for pregnant women
The state government had procured and distributed a large number of delivery packs for pregnant women called ‘mama kits’ as a way of attracting pregnant women to the primary health care facilities for ante-natal care attendance adding that over 15,000 mama kits have been purchased and distributed, “Idris boasted.
He stressed that basic obstetric drugs like misoprostol used for reduction of hemorrhage and magnesium sulphate required for essential obstetric care in primary and secondary health facilities were purchased and distributed to health facilities, adding that equipment of operation of blood banking services in the secondary health facilities in the state had also been purchased and distributed.”
Staff were also trained on different aspects of the programme, such as emergency obstetric and newborn care (EmOC), emergency obstetric care, essential newborn care, partograph for active management of labour, anti-shock garment and manual vacuum aspirators for management of obstetric complications in pregnancy and life- saving skills among others, it was gathered.