At its birth in 1986, the Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital (OOUTH), had two major objectives: to heal the sick and advance medical science. Cut to March 2019, it stagnates like a non-purulent graveyard, or catacomb of unknown breakthroughs and the sick, if you like.
Set in a hub of Sagamu, Ogun State, the hospital, however, pulsed with hope and the possibility of rebirth at the dawn of Governor Dapo Abiodun’s administration. Following a detailed report about the deplorable state of the medical facility, the governor paid an unscheduled visit to the state-owned institution, once adjudged the bestamong equals.
It’s a sad haul from the hospital’s glory days; as Governor Abiodun inspected its theatres and wards, he swallowed in grief over the horrid descent of the hitherto flourishing facility.
It seemed a strange task for the incumbent governor to enunciate, that, the very first requirement in a hospital is that it should do the sick no harm; Governor Abiodun balked in regret, having observed that the health facility failed to observe this crucial precept.
Decrepit amenities, a hostile staff and dearth of diagnostic equipment continually haunt the system. Consequently, many a patient would rather be kept alive in a gush of warm sympathy in a small clinic than the expeditious, cold altruism of a large hospital.
Dismayed by the obsolete equipment, shortage of staff, inadequate funding and the appalling state of the emergency unit at the facility, the governor affirmed that indeed, his visit was informed by a meeting with sector heads in the Ministry of Health, medical directors of different hospitals and the members of the management board.
Today, the administration of Governor Dapo Abiodun has done exceedingly well in health, from infrastructure to social welfare, agriculture and education, etc.
According to information at our disposal, “The administration met six (6) functional ambulances serving the entire State, when we assumed office on May 29, 2019”.
“As an Administration that places premium on emergency response and health as a vital sector, we’ve so far raised the number of ambulances to 28, making at least an ambulance available in each of the 26 state constituencies.
Having recently launched our 24-hour ambulance service across the State, we have also provided 18 tricycles for use in remote, rural areas. All these will avail our people the privilege of calling the functional emergency number and getting prompt responses”.
Interestingly, however, despite being the state to host the index case of the dreaded coronavirus in February 2020, Ogun State contained the virus in a laudable manner with quick and effective moves taken by the State Ministry of Health up to the point of vaccination. The State has a record of low fatalities, with: 70,200 persons tested, 4,600 treated, 80,000 vaccinated, and 50 fatalities.
In the period under review, a total of fortytwo (42) Primary Health Centres, PHCs have been renovated and equipped, with sixty (60) others ongoing across the 20 LGAs of the State. This is to improve access to healthcare, especially at the grassroots.
Ongoing in three (3) different locations is the renovation of State General Hospitals. These are in Idiroko, Ibiade and Odeda. The Government has also carried out some construction at, while also renovating, the State General Hospitals in Iberekodo and Ijebu Ife. Renovation has also been carried out at the 120-bed Mother-and-Child Ward at the State General Hospital in Iperu.
However, In September 2020, Governor Abiodun approved the recruitment of medical staff across cadres, including resident doctors, nurses, pharmacists and others. The Governor gave specific instructions to all state-owned hospitals to recruit 20 consultant doctors, to address the existent shortfall at the time. As at May 28, 2021, a total of three hundred and ten (310) medical staff have been employed by the State Government – from consultant to attendants.
The Mortuary and Accident & Emergencies, A&E Unit of the Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, OOUTH, Sagamu have been upgraded. This is as the State Government conducted a total overhaul of the Mortuary with six (6) freezers and renovated the A&E Unit.
The administration of Prince Dapo Abiodun has paid the sum of 100million Naira as commitment fund into the Basic Health Care Provision Fund. The Fund targets persons categorised as vulnerable, including the aged, pregnant women, and children under the age of 5. Already, the Ogun State Health Insurance Agency, through its 236 officers-in-charge and ward development chairmen trained for this purpose, has commenced registration of 20,000 beneficiaries for free healthcare across all 20 LGAs. Also, N600,000 has already been disbursed for the implementation of the Fund to 196 PHCs, and payment will continue monthly with N100,000.
Towards easing access to public health facilities especially in emergencies, the Ogun State Government distributed 34 tricycle ambulances to rural PHCs to reduce maternal and infant mortality which may have increased due to the remote location of the areas.