In an effort to reduce deaths of newborn babies, the Rotary Club of Omole Golden last week handed over a brand new Neonatal Building at the Ifako-Ijaiye General Hospital to the Lagos State Government.
The neonatal facility was built and would be equipped by Rotary Club with incubators and Phototherapy machines among other medical equipment strictly use in the care of preterm and full-term babies.
Speaking during the commissioning, the Club President, Hassan Alih Ogwu said the building was aimed at reducing neonatal deaths in the hospital as well as ensuring the survival of babies born in the hospital.
“Rotary is giving every child an opportunity to live. Rotary Club is to intervention is all about service to humanity. The project is in two phases, the first is the completion of the building and the second phase is to equip the structure with State of the art equipment and to ensure that is functional.
“We cannot quantify the building in naira and kobo but the number of lives it is going to save. The survival of newborns is important. We are starting with 20 incubators and phototherapy machines. As time goes on, we intend to increase it,” he added.
Also speaking, the former president of the Club, Rotn. Ibironke Ogun who conceptualised the project said the motivation for the project was due to the loss of babies at that time due to the lack of incubators in the hospital.
“In our Club, we agreed that each president must donate an incubator to the hospital. When it got me, we did a need assessment and realised that they have some incubators and phototherapy machines that were lying fallow and even the ones we gave years before was just starched somewhere without being used due to minor faults and the fact they do not have enough space.
“So, I felt that instead of giving new ones and no place to keep them, it was better to build a facility where they will be kept. When I resumed office they had almost 10 incubators and phototherapy machines that are not working. All I did was put them in order. They were just minor faults. I fix all of them in good working condition and added a few new ones.”
“Today, it is a dream comes true, we could give a whole building for yet unborn children to benefit from it, we are happy it has come to fruition.”
Speaking, the Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof Akin Abayomi who described the day as a day of joy said the state ought to celebrate Rotary Club Omole because they have been building in and out of the state.
Commending Rotary Club of Omole Golden, he said in Lagos neonatal deaths are taken seriously and investigate the deaths of babies to prevent future occurrence.
Speaking, the Chief Medical Director of the Hospital, Dr Olusola Amure, who recalled that the foundation of the facility was laid on the 3rd of April 2019 said back then there was only two incubators then but presently the hospital has eight functional incubators.
He said the neonatal building will be used for babies within 0 to 28 days, both preterm and full-term babies that have problems.
“What Rotary has done will go a long way in reducing neonatal mortality in the hospital and the state at large. We do take every neonatal death seriously because we do review them to prevent future occurrence. It is more work for health workers.
“Babies born less than 26 weeks have difficulty surviving outside the womb but an incubator will help with their breathing and treatment. The incubator will produce the best artificial condition that is similar to the womb of the mother,” Amure stated.
The Head, Paediatrician unit and a Consultant Paediatrician, Adejoke Akande recalled that in 2017, the hospital had the least neonatal mortality among all the secondary health care facilities in Lagos state, adding that with the new building, the state will regain its position as the hospital with the least neonatal deaths. , “We are within the first five but I believe the story will now change. We hope to regain our position as the least hospital with neonatal mortality. Rotary has been consistent in efforts to rescue our babies. They have shown love to our patients. It will end patients roaming about for incubators.”