The Lagos State Government has received eight new customised state-of-the-art Mobile Intensive Care Unit (MICU) Ambulances and a well-equipped Mobile Clinic Truck from two donor partners – Global Fund, an international financing and partnership organisation and Mobile Telephone Network (MTN) Nigeria respectively – for the improvement of emergency medical services and the provision of primary healthcare outreach services in Lagos communities.
Receiving the donated Ambulances and Mobile Clinic Truck in Alausa at the weekend, the Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, noted that the State government has continued to enjoy support from its development partners, donor agencies, philanthropic organisations and well-meaning individuals who at various times have donated items, resources and offered expertise in the drive to provide efficient, accessible and equitable health services to the citizenry.
He commended Global Fund and MTN Nigeria for the donations, adding that the noble gestures of the two organisations will further help strengthen the State healthcare delivery system and improve emergency and public health response in Lagos State.
Abayomi explained that the eight ambulances, which will be added to the fleet of ambulances in the Lagos State Ambulance Service (LASAMBUS), will go a long way in expanding the coverage area of LASAMBUS, adding that the health truck will bring primary healthcare services closer to the doorsteps of citizens and help bridge the access gap in the sector.
He said the ultimate goal is to transform LASAMBUS and take it to a global benchmark standard with more staff, more equipment, more ambulance bases and points with reduced emergency response time as it is the practice in advance climes.
The Commissioner averred that the well-equipped mobile clinic truck will offer basic primary healthcare services like immunisation and treating of common ailments like malaria, stressing that the health truck, which consists of a generator, a doctor and a nurse, can also serve as a small primary healthcare post.
While noting that an appropriate implementation framework will be put in place for the deployment and supervision of mobile clinic trucks for medical outreaches, Abayomi maintained that Lagos is committed to ensuring the delivery of qualitative healthcare service to the nooks and crannies of the State.
Speaking in the same vein, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr. Olusegun Ogboye, stated that LASAMBUS remains committed to the provision of swift and professional emergency services, stressing that residents can be assured of getting fast and prompt emergency services when the need arises.
Ogboye further explained that the plan to build ambulance bases across all Local Government Areas of the State is in top gear. He emphasised that the goal is to ensure that people who need ambulance and emergency services can get it within the shortest possible time.
Earlier in his remarks, the Head of Global Fund Grant Management Unit in Lagos, Mr. Biodun Omolaja disclosed that Lagos is the only State in Nigeria that has been a direct beneficiary of the Global Fund grant.
He said: “Usually when global fund engages countries, it does at the national level, but Lagos is the only State in Nigeria that has gotten direct funding from the global fund since 2017 and that is simply because of the structure that government has in place in respect to the health sector response as well as the approach to ownership and sustainability of various health interventions”.
Omolaja informed that the provision of eight MICU ambulances is to strengthen the State government’s emergency medical service as part of the implementation of activities in the State’s COVID-19 Incident Action Plan that is being supported by Global Fund.
In his own remarks, Director MTN Foundation, Mr. Dennis Okoro, explained that the mobile clinic truck donated by MTN Nigeria, through its Foundation, will be used to conduct medical outreaches and primary healthcare services in 14 Local Government Areas across Lagos State as a component of the MTN Yello Doctor Project Phase 3.
He disclosed further that the 14 LGAs where the outreaches will take place are Alimosho, Apapa, Amuwo-Odofin, Badagry, Eti-Osa, Ifako-Ijaiye, Kosofe, Ajeromi-Ifelodun, Ibeju-Lekki, Epe, Ikeja, Lagos Mainland, Ojo and Shomolu.
Dignitaries in attendance at the event include the Permanent Secretary, Primary Health Care Board, Dr. Ibrahim Mustafa; Executive Secretary, MTN Foundation, Mrs. Odunayo Sanya; Director Health Care Planning Research and Statistics, Dr. Dayo Lajide; Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Health, Dr. Ore Finnih and Head, Lagos State Ministry of Health Grant Management Office, Chinyere Gift-Okorie.