By Chioma Umeha
Ibafon Primary Health Care (PHC) Centre, Ajeromi Ifelodun LGA in Lagos has joined the league of PHCs that has benefited from the family planning (FP) project of Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative, a nongovernmental organisation, popularly known as NURHI, on Monday.
The PHC can now boast of a basic standard family planning (FP) unit after it was commissioned by the Hon. Fehintola Danmole-Akaba, the Sole Administrator of Ajeromi Ifelodun Local Government Area.
While expressing his joy over the project, the community leader – Baale – Kayode Okunlola was optimistic that the high rate of maternal mortality as experienced in the local government would be a thing of the past.
According to Okunlola, the project was a dream come through. He said: “We have so many people who are not enlightened in our community. If you look at majority of unfortunate things that happen during child birth, Ajeromi Ifelodun records the highest in Lagos State. It is very unfortunate but, with what happened here today, people will know when, how and the gap they are to give before getting pregnant.
“So for this laudable programme, I believe that these unfortunate deaths of pregnant women especially, during labour will drastically reduce, that’s the happiness I have today.”
While commissioning the project, the Hon. Danmole-Akaba lauded NURHI’s initiative and also appreciated the staff of Ibafon PHC and community members who had helped in making the 72 hours project a reality.
The Sole Administrator however pledged that the infrastructure provided would be jealously guarded in terms of maintenance. She also promised to always get the generating set ready for use in providing all that are required.
“This PHC has been a kind a skeletal health centre, but with this renovations, the whole story have changed. “You’ve come in here and told us that in 72 hours these things can be achieved, we should emulate you, especially when it comes to health issues, we should avoid bureaucracy. We should do what is needed to protect people’s health and save lives,” she said.
She therefore urged the people: “Let our people know about this facility. If we have to do jingle, I am ready to support that, let’s go round the community to do the jingle, let them know that we now have a family planning unit here so that they can come make use of the facility and meet the experts to counsel them on health matters.”
Addressing the public, Dr. Omasanjuwa Edun, the Lagos State Team Leader of NURHI who noted that the project is in its second phase, said the same project is going on in two other states in country.
“Essentially what we are trying to do is to promote the use of family planning in the LGAs and communities that we work in. To promote these services, we have to upgrade their facilities to the basic standard required to provide the optimal quality of services to clients.
“Ibafon PHC is one of the 50 PHC in Lagos state and this is the second phase of our renovation, first phase was done last year. The ideal setting is that there must be privacy in the unit to ensure confidentiality in delivering services, he said while pointing at the things NURHI has been able to do in improving the PHC.
“Initially, there was no family planning unit in this facility so we converted what used to be a store to family planning unit that comprise counselling unit and procedure. Also, the state of the labour room was also not conducive so we also did a little bit of work there as well. We also had to take re-lay the tiles, repainted the waiting room and entire clinic to give the facility a facelift.
“Basically, we do all of these in 72 hour. It is a strategy not to disrupt the normal clinical activities in the facility and to showcase to government that these things can be done without unnecessary due process with little or minimal funding using community artisans,” he said.
While appreciating everybody, Medical Officer of Health for Ajeromi PHC, Oteniya Naheem while appreciating NURHI pointed: “Family planning is a programme we have been running all along, but because the facility we have on ground is not so comprehensive so we have not given the best to our client, they are not getting the maximum benefit of it, but with what NURHI has done today, I will want each an everyone of us to appreciate them.”