• Stresses on prompt birth registration
The celebration of one of the star babies of this year in Lagos came with a difference. The reason is simple; the baby’s birth took place in the same hospital where the First Lady of Lagos State, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode was born some decades ago. The bundle of joy was the baby girl of Mrs. Amarachi Bright, whose birth took place at 12:01am at the Epe General Hospital, Lagos.
Cuddling the baby in her hands, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode stressed the need for all mothers and caregivers to promptly register the birth of their infants on successful delivery, during her goodwill visit to the public hospital to welcome the First Baby the Year 2016.
According to her, the objective of the visit was to celebrate the new born in the community as well to celebrate some members of the public who find themselves in hospitals on the New Year day.
Mrs. Ambode also said that Baby Bright, who weighed 3.25kg, emerged the first baby of the year as she was delivered 12.01a.m at the General Hospital Epe on New Year dawn. Mrs. Ambode also named the baby – Abiodun Bolanle Bright after her.
Similarly delivered at 12.01 am at the Lagos Island Maternity Hospital – Lagos is Baby Okunowo who weighted 3.25kg.
Following closely is Baby Adeleke who was delivered at 12.03am at Ibeju-Lekki.
Mrs. Ambode who was accompanied on the visit to the newly delivered babies at the three various hospitals by wives of the officials of Lagos State Officials (COWLSO), presented gifts to all the babies who were fortunate to be delivered very early on New Year day.
The wife of the governor described the measure of obtaining birth certificates upon successful deliveries of babies “as a heart-warming fulfillment of the advocacy of prompt registration of birth, which the Lagos State Government and United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) had championed over the years.”
She urged all mothers to observe baby-raising tips taught at ante-natal and importantly, “to embrace exclusive breast-feeding. “This will not only make the baby healthy and strong, it will also help reduce unnecessary spending on health issues.”
Not only has medical science established that, breast milk supplies the much needed nutrients to the new born, she said.
She added: “ The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends exclusive breastfeeding, starting within one hour after birth, until a baby is six months old. It is documented to be the most important source of protein to the growing baby.”
She also congratulated the health family for the re-appointment of Dr Jide Idris as the Commissioner for Health and Dr Femi Onanuga as Special Adviser on Primary Healthcare, saying the duo were crusaders of change in the health sector.
She expressed optimism that their wealth of experience had been brought to bear in the delivery of qualitative healthcare and upgrade of facilities in the general hospitals and healthcare centres in the state.
She also commended corporate organisations and individuals who had continued to support the health family over the years as part of their corporate social responsibility.to boost the healthcare delivery system in the state, ‘’ Mrs. Ambode said.
In his remark, the Commissioner for Health in Lagos, Dr. Jide Idris said both the primary duty of Lagos State Government is to provide a healthy Lagos community, adding that the health workforce and government has responsibility to patients.
While appealing to the health family to treat patients nicely, he said, “We have no work if they don’t visit us.”
According to Idris, the new administration in Lagos State is determined to improve all negative indices as well as improve positive lifestyles including personal hygiene.
The Commissioner for Health noted that there had been tremendous improvements in the health services of the state through the adoption of solid strategies and interventions.
Idris urge mothers to make use of the available hospital services by attending ante-natal and post-natal care, immunisation, and imbibe good diet and hygiene.
He also called on mothers to access family planning services at the primary health centres for adequate child spacing and survival, to reduce infant mortality.
Idris assured residents of the state that the state government had noted that “Many hospitals in the state are old, including the Epe General Hospital established in 1954 and the administration of Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode is putting everything in place to renovate all the hospitals across the state.”
Segun Olulade, chairman, Lagos State House Committee on Health, called for incentives for all health workers to encourage them to accept working in rural areas so as to bring health care closer to the polulace.
This story was published in Newswatch Times on January 7, 2016.