Wife of Lagos State Governor, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu yesterday welcomed and presented gifts items to the first babies of the year in four state owned health facilities namely Ijede General Hospital, Agbowa General Hospital, Ketu-Ejirin General Hospital and Lagos Island Maternity Hospital.
Baby Agede, a male who weighed 2kg delivered at exactly 12.01a.m. by Mrs. Bukola Agede is the first baby of the year at Ijede General Hospital. Another baby, a female who weighed 3.1kg delivered at 12.07am by Mrs. Beauty Agbor is the first baby of the year in Agbowa General Hospital.
Also, baby Kazeem, a boy, who weighed 3kg and delivered at 1.40a.m. to the family of Mr. and Mrs. Kazeem is the first baby of the year at Ketu-Ejirin General Hospital while the first baby of the year at the Lagos Island Maternity Hospital is baby Momoh. The baby; a male who weighed 2.6kg was delivered at 12.09a.m. by Mrs Mary Momoh
Dr. Sanwo-Olu who was at these hospitals to celebrate with the new mothers on the arrival of their babies said the birth of a child do not happen by chance but requires that the mothers takes steps to ensure that she lives a healthy life whilst pregnant and gets skilled care during labour and delivery.
“Just as the birth of a healthy baby requires that the mother takes steps to ensure that she lives a healthy life whilst pregnant and gets skilled care during labour and delivery, we must also play our part to ensure that we live the kind of life that will promote our own welfare and the well-being of our society”, she stated.
While noting that the birth of a child brings good fortune to a society, Sanwo-Olu averred that the birth of a child is significant and symbolizes the assurance that human heritage and life force is carried on to the next generation.
“We are here today not just to celebrate new lives but also to seek opportunities to make a difference in the lives of the people who need our assistance. Bearing in mind always that our show of love, kindness and compassion is only an extension of gratitude to our maker for the same grace granted to us”, She said.
The wife of the Governor while highlighting strategies implemented by the administration of her husband to strengthen the health sector and halt the trend of maternal and child mortality in Lagos State mentioned that two new Maternal and Child Centres (MCC) at Alimosho and Eti-Osa areas of the state were commissioned to complement the existing ones.
Sanwo-Olu added that Neonatal Care Units as well as equipment and resources was also provided at some general hospitals to enhance the quality of maternal and child care services adding that her office and the State government are poised to do more this year.
She acknowledged the efforts of the State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi and his team for the great improvement recorded in the State health sector in the last few months stressing that the his commitment towards infrastructural upgrade, provision of relevant equipment, and human resource development is exemplary .
“It is imperative to seize this opportunity to express my profound gratitude to all the individuals and organizations involved in one form of partnership or the other with the Lagos State Government in the past years. I also wish to urge others out there to support and collaborate with the State Government towards a better and greater healthcare”, the wife of the Governor stated.
Earlier in his remarks, the State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi noted that the first baby of the year remains a symbolic event as it shows that the very first activity of the State government every year is seen to focus on health.
“Its significance is demonstrated by the priority visit of the wife of the Governor and the presence of important dignitaries, who could have been elsewhere on this great day but chose to spend their first few hours of the New Year in our public hospitals. They make it a duty to be here to rejoice with our mothers on the birth of their children and that, in itself, speaks volume”
“As such, events like this give our dignitaries the chance to evaluate where we are, as against the year before and recognize opportunities to create partnerships that can further improve health service outcomes”, he said.
The Commissioner stressed that welcoming the first baby of the year event is one of the ways to support the fact that the Lagos State government is committed to the total health of the mother and her baby after going through the process of conception, pregnancy and child delivery.
Abayomi while noting that there is still a significant number of people who lose their lives and the lives of their newborn because they do not have access to quality healthcare services either because they cannot afford them or unaware of the dangers of seeking care from unqualified persons stated that the State government through the Ministry of Health is committed to reducing maternal and child mortality through the implementation of mother and child survival interventions.
He listed the interventions as including advocacy and sensitization campaigns and community dialogue; upgrading of existing infrastructures at primary, secondary and tertiary health facilities and construction of new ones to provide basic and comprehensive obstetrics and gynecology care; provision of equipment and drugs; strengthening of quality assurance; building the capacity of human resource for health; addressing shortages of health workers; improving access to care amongst others.
“With the exemplary leadership of Mr. Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, you can be confident that the State government will continue to stimulate the required quality of health service delivery that is poised to address existing health gaps and even new health challenges that might emerge”, the Commissioner averred.
Mum’s packs, baby essentials and other baby gifts were presented to the babies and their parents by the Wife of the Governor.