Lagos commences deep refurbishment of General Hospitals

….As Commissioner for Health Inspects two GHs Undergoing Renovation

….As Commissioner for Health Inspects two GHs Undergoing Renovation

In line with the current administration’s medical infrastructure blueprint strategy which is aimed at revamping health facilities and make it fit for purpose, the Lagos State Government has commenced phased refurbishment and renovation of all general hospitals in the State.

State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi who disclosed this today after a facility inspection tour of two secondary health facilities; Ebute Metta and Harvey Road Health Centres, that have been approved for refurbishment in 2021, noted that the refurbishment and renovation strategy which commenced last year would address the issues of design faults, drainage, patient flow, staff flow, water collection, infection prevention compliance or non-compliance, energy and ventilations.

Said he: “Mr. Governor already knows the state of the General Hospitals and his mandate is that we do a deep refurbishment in all the general hospitals and bring them all to standard that is acceptable at an international standard.

“So, instead of repairing the general hospitals in little pieces every year, we are coming to a number of hospitals every year to do a complete refurbishing so that by the time we finish it will look like a brand new hospital and we won’t need to come back to that hospital for a number of years, and then, we move on every year to refurbish six-seven or eight hospitals; that way in two or three years, we would have covered most of the hospitals in Lagos State.

Abayomi while noting that eight hospitals have been earmarked for deep refurbishment in 2021 in addition to the ones started last year, added that the refurbishment and renovation project would also focus on bringing down the carbon footprints in the medical infrastructure and embracing renewable energy like solar, inverters and natural ventilators.

“We are trying to keep the hospitals a low energy and low carbon footprints; we don’t want the Medical Director to spend their IGR on diesel and fueling Generators. So, where we can cool a building down naturally and use renewable energy like solar or naturally ventilators or inverters, we would do that just to bring down the carbon footprints of all our medical infrastructure and reduce use of fossil fuel and generally redesign the building or rehabilitate it to be a lot cooler”

“We are also paying attention to sanitation; toilet, wash hand basins and we are making sure that all the fittings are robust, strong and dependable, so that for five-ten years, none of the replacement will suffer underlying disrepair. So, that is generally what the intention is”, he said.

He noted that repair and refurbishment would be carried out in such a way that would not allow for major repairs in another decade except for continuous maintenance that would be done by the hospital management in collaboration with the Lagos State Asset Maintenance Agency (LASIAMA).

“For the refurbished buildings, you will see that we are going to do complete refurbishing and replacement, making sure that we pay attention to all the issue that I earlier highlighted and once we finish, we come and commission and for five to ten years, we won’t have to come back except for minor issues where the Medical Directors will use their IGR to fix while we move on to other hospitals and health facilities in the State doing the same thing.

“We have about 27 general hospitals, so we have a lot of work to do but we are making sure that everywhere we go, we are going right to fix and address the problem; the structural integrity, ventilation, Infection Prevention and Control, movement of patients and staff, power, flooding and all kinds of issues”, the Commissioner said.

Abayomi disclosed that the State government has embarked on some Greenfield medical infrastructure projects to prevent issues noticed in health infrastructure across all levels of care in the State. He added that all issues bedeviling medical health infrastructure will disappear when the Governor Jide Sanwo-Olu’s Medical Infrastructure Blueprint strategy is rolled out.

“So the hospitals we will be building henceforth would be design fit for purpose with attention to all the issues mentioned. We have competent contractors, project managers and medical facilities project implementation unit; a robust team that does the pre-assessment and project manage the contractors and the consultants to ensure we are getting what we want. There will be no shortcuts, we are not going to accept or tolerate short cuts. What we pay for, is what we are going to get”, he said.

Abayomi noted that with the ongoing refurbishment and roll out of the Governor’s medical infrastructure blueprint, the medical infrastructure landscape of the State would look completely different adding that attention would be paid on maintenance.

“There is no point coming in here to do a deep refurbishment only to allow it to disintegrate afterwards. Once we have done a deep refurbishment, we have an agency that is responsible for Maintenance and they are part of the refurbishment strategy and once we finish, then we are going to have what we call a maintenance culture to make sure the infrastructure does not suffer dilapidation due to neglect.

“So all the engineers on site would be programmed for maintenance and LASIAMA would come in and set up a facility management programme and make sure the deep refurbishment done is maintained”, the Commissioner said.

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The Commander, U.S. Africa Command, U General Stephen Townsend, wrapped up a three-day West African visit February 22-25, 2021, with a stopover in Nigeria to meet with the nation’s leaders and further the long-standing partnership and security cooperation between the two countries.

A press statement by the Embassy on Friday, said: “During the visit, Townsend met with the Nigerian President’s Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Gambari, and National Security Adviser, Babagan Monguno, to discuss regional security issues and to express the command’s gratitude for the assistance provided during a hostage rescue operation last year.

“When we asked for their help, the Nigerian government answered the call. Our hostage recovery mission in October would have been impossible without their support.

“They quickly provided assistance that helped the U.S. military to save an American life. That is a strong example of our partnership with Nigeria.”

Townsend also met with senior military officials, including the Minister of Defence, Bashir Salihi Magash, and the Chief of Defence Staff, General Leo Irabor, to talk about on-going cooperation in the region and greater maritime security and threat mitigation.

Nigeria is a key partner in countering violent extremist organizations throughout the Lake Chad Basin.

Townsend said furthermore: “The bilateral relationship between Nigeria and the U.S. is built on several pillars including security cooperation.

“U.S. Africa Command will do our part to advance the security cooperation pillar, so that Nigerians can enjoy the more secure future they all deserve.”

As close partners, the U.S. and Nigeria have worked at ensuring the collaborative relationship continues to grow to include a commitment to interoperability. Nigeria purchased 12 A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft, which will be delivered later this year.

“Nigeria’s purchase of A-29 Super Tucano aircraft is another example of their commitment to interoperability and security in the region,” he added. “Our economic relationship with Nigeria is already strong, and we look forward to the continued strengthening of security relationships. Nigeria’s leaders understand the importance of a collaborative approach to ensuring stability in West Africa and partnering on areas of mutual interest.”

The Commander also met with the U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard.

Leonard said: “General Townsend’s visit to Nigeria demonstrates the strategic importance the United States places on our bilateral relationship with Nigeria.

“Our security cooperation partnership with Nigeria’s military will strengthen the country’s capabilities to secure land and sea borders, enhance overall security, and combat terrorism in the North East.”

As part of the visit, Townsend participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Nigeria Military National Cemetery to honour those who have given their lives in the service of their nation.

During the visit, the delegation expressed their condolences for the seven service men killed in the crash of a Nigerian Air Force aircraft in Abuja.