Fashola Commissions Ultra Modern Trauma And Burns Centre In LASUTH Extension
…Promises to be back soon to commission Cardiac and Kidney Centres
Jul 16, 2013 - Lagos State on Tuesday recorded another major milestone in its qualitative healthcare delivery as Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) formally handed over the ultra modern Trauma and Burns Centre of the Gbagada General Hospital with an assertion that the state can become a regional hub for medical tourism with the advanced facilities it possesses.
The Governor who spoke at the official opening ceremony which took place at the open grounds of the Gbagada General Hospital added that very few African countries have the kind of facilities that have been established in the health care sector in Lagos today.
He was happy that the State's healthcare programme is on course and assured that from today it would be a matter of how much, how intensive and how passionate the state's medical practitioners chose to be as hospitals and infrastructure do not treat and do not care rather it is committed and passionate medical practitioners who treat and who care.
"We have not finished here, our work in this centre continues because this is an extension of our College of Medicine and Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH). The buildings to the right are undergoing fittings and when they are concluded later this year, we will be back to open our Cardiac and Kidney Centres where hopefully we would be able to stay in control of treatment of kidney cases, heart diseases and reduce the number of patients who go to India and all of such places to seek treatment".
"We have also tried to balance the pressure on us not only to address infrastructure to support healthcare but also the welfare of healthcare practitioners. We have not finished in all of the departments. But we are making progress. And the more of the facilities we put in place, the easier it is for health practitioners to actually now stand to say we want to save lives because we actually want to do so", he added.
The Governor reiterated that the free health care policy can only go far because the rate at which the country's population is growing is not commensurate with the rate at which the resources are growing.
"We can provide free healthcare, free ante natal care we can provide for free treatment of malaria for certain segment of society but we cannot provide healthcare for complex surgeries kidney transplant complicated child birth free and this is what I think citizens must sign up to and be their own insurer for where the free health stops, to take it on and in a way that is cheap and in a way that is convenient", Governor Fashola stated.
The Governor informed that since the Trauma and Burns Centre opened in April this year, a total of 351 patients have already been seen in the facility out of which 86 of them were admitted.
"The most common injuries that were seen here were burns and corrosion which constitute about 24percent, crash injuries of the head and neck which constituted about 19 percent of the injuries that we treated here. Open wounds of the head and neck represented about 13 percent and wounds involving multiple body regions and fractures constituted around 11 percent", he said.
Governor Fashola explained that 63 percent of the people seen at the facility were those within the ages of 15 and 49 and those are the people to whom the State's message of more care, more caution, more consideration for safety must be directed. He expressed the hope that the Commissioners for Special Duties and Health would take note and increase the message in homes, schools and work places to improve the rate of safety.
He stressed that the location of the Trauma and Burns Centre is not accidental but is deliberate, adding that the state decided that since it was close to the expressway it would be easy to access it as a major trauma centre. "Those coming from the Island, Mainland and those from Ikeja can readily use the facility here".
The Governor however emphasized the need for improved safety consciousness noting that the administration would prefer to have healthy and uninjured citizens. "We hope also that the incidence of Trauma that we would see here would be mitigated by people being safety conscious because that is really what we want. We don't want people to come here in pain and in distress. We want healthy and uninjured citizens so I appeal to all our citizens to be the first line of protection for themselves in the way they manage harzardous material and inflammable materials, in the way that they deal with safety issues at work and so on".
He expressed the conviction that the facility will be able to provide all sorts of intensive care, specialist surgeries, plastic surgeries and allied treatments adding that it represents another step in the quest for saving lives as the building means nothing if they do not advance the cause of government's primary responsibility which is to protect life and property.
He recalled that during the heart of his Governorship campaign in 2006/2007 when there was a major fire disaster in Alimosho area of Lagos, the medical personnel were seemingly helpless about the disaster.
"They were ready, they were trained but were seemingly handicapped by equipments and I recall that a few hospitals that I visited in Agege left an indelible impression in my mind as a contender for office at that time".
"I saw doctors really trying to help but clearly incapacitated by the lack of equipment and facilities and those were the underlying considerations for this facility because I did not forget. Though it is a small facility, it is the first step perhaps to showing that government can be responsive and that we can do things for ourselves here", the Governor said.
Also recalling the infrastructure upgrade engendered in the area by the facility's location, Governor Fashola said that when the project started in 2009 rain boots were needed to visit the site of the project which was a major flood plain adding that this explains why perhaps the project got delayed.
"We had to deflood the Canal behind us here that service the whole of Gbagada and so in order to get the Burns unit, we had to solve the whole of Gbagada flooding problem and that is history today and the major road to this place was another story, but today, we now have a concrete road, a road that would last for at least 50 years", he said.
"The Trauma and Burns Centre has equipment specially manufactured for the treatment and management care of people with massive and acute burns, people that cannot be touched with bare hands. The centre has a burn shower, trolley and all sorts of equipments that have been put there to facilitate this care", he said.
Speaking earlier, the Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris said with respect to health, the government had some issues to contend with including climate changes, road traffic accidents, pipeline fire outbreaks and air crashes.
He said the construction and equipping of the Trauma and Burns Centre is government's response to address issues of road traffic accidents, air crashes and resultant burns in an integrated manner with inter agency collaboration.
"As a responsive government, it is our responsibility to ensure that we provide solutions to reduce the effects of such incidents and assist the casualties who become victims of disasters".
Also speaking, the State Commissioner for Special Duties, Dr Wale Ahmed said the successful completion of the Burns and Trauma Centre is a testimony to the leadership and team work ability of Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN).
The Governor later undertook an extensive inspection of the facilities at the Trauma and Burns Centre at the ceremony witnessed by members of the State Executive Council including the Special Adviser to the Governor on Public Health, Dr (Mrs) Yewande Adeshina and Commissioner for Information and Strategies, Mr Lateef Ibirogba among several other stakeholders in the health sector.