In view of the hard time faced by Nigerians following the removal of fuel subsidy, General Hospitals and Primary Health Centres in Lagos State have been mandated by the state government to provide free antenatal care and child delivery services to pregnant women.
The Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Dr Olusegun Ogboye, said the implementation of free antenatal care and child delivery services would help improve maternal and child health indices in Lagos.
In a statement by the Director, Public Affairs in the state’s Ministry of Health, Tunbosun Ogunbanwo, Dr. Ogboye said this during compliance monitoring visits to some state hospitals including the Ifako-Ijaiye and Isolo General Hospitals.
The permanent secretary expressed satisfaction at the level of compliance to the directive, noting that the government recognises the prime place of maternal and child health in the society.
According to him, “The governor recognised that the cost of antenatal care and child delivery services would add to the burden of fuel subsidy removal on the cost of living for expectant parents.
“This is why the governor announced the free medical intervention as part of the rolled-out measures to ease off the burden.
“I am impressed by the level of compliance to Mr. Governor’s free antenatal and child delivery service directive at the health facilities visited.
“Having gone around the ANC clinics, post-delivery wards and baby nurseries at the Ifako-Ijaiye and Isolo General Hospitals, it is heartwarming to see the smiles on the faces of newly born and their parents.
“I would like to thank the management of these hospitals and the health workers for quickly putting in place modalities and carrying out the Governor’s directive to the letter.
“This is an indication that all government institutions are in sync regarding the harsh reality of fuel subsidy removal and the intervention to ameliorate the suffering of citizens,” he said.
Dr. Ogboye noted that the medical intervention would cover the cost of antenatal care including cost of registration and ANC clinics, as well as normal and cesarean section child delivery services.
According to him, the 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 government had 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.
Dr. Ogboye restated the commitment of the present administration to the provision of access to quality and efficient health care services.
The permanent secretary also assured of the government’s commitment to evolving strategies geared towards the reduction and eradication of maternal, child and infant mortality, as well as improved maternal and child health indices.
The Medical Director, Ifako-Ijaiye General Hospital, Also, Dr. Bamidele Mustapha, on his part, revealed that about 30 women registered at the hospital had benefited from the free antenatal and child delivery services including cesarean sections, at no cost to the beneficiaries.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on July 31, directed general hospitals and primary healthcare centres to offer free antenatal care and child delivery services to expectant mothers.
Sanwo-Olu said it was part of measures to ease the burden of the fuel subsidy removal on Lagos residents.
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