the Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi has said that strengthening collaboration between alternative and orthodox medicine, as well as channeling resources into the primary healthcare are top health priorities of the Sanwo-Olu led administration.
The Commissioner who spoke at a 4-day workshop for officials of the state ministry of health put together by the Lagos State Government in partnership with the Royal Dutch Government, said the move will bring succor to patience, reduce the burdens on the Secondary facilities, whilst providing qualitative healthcare for Lagosians.
His words: “There are several aspect of alternative medicine that are very beneficial, many of our drugs are derived from natural root and herbs… what is most important is giving succor to our patient. So we need to hold hands with alternative practitioner and bring them on board, so that we can work together and not against each other.
“We are going to ensure that all our Primary Healthcare Centers are functioning because with that, the burden on secondary health facilities will drastically reduce.”
Prof. Abayomi also recognized the need to make work environments conducive for healthcare practitioners in order to reduce the ongoing brain drain in the state which he said amounts to a huge economic drain on the state.
“To address brain drain, we are going to work towards conducive environment for our healthcare professionals. To do that, we are going to ensure that they have career path, good facilities for them to practice with their art and skill, ensure that their basic needs are attended to, engage their mind through training programs among others.”
Abayomi however also seize the opportunity to criticize lackadaisical work attitude amongst some professionals just as he threatened to pay unscheduled visits to facilities.
“Babies are dying, wrong investigations are carried out, people can’t find bed, and something is wrong; I’m going to visit all the healthcare facilities in the state uninformed, because as healthcare providers you don’t know when emergency situation will arise, so you need to be at alert always. Part of what I will look out for is your toilet and how clean your environment is.
“I will also pull out a patient file randomly and we will run through it together to understand the clinical governance around that patient. What patient present with and how you work out your prevention diagnoses and arrive at treatment plan. Is it evidence base or you just decide to treat the patient with anti-malaria, typiod, documentation of social history among others. I will also sample patient opinion,” said the commissioner.
While delivering his plenary lecture on, “Success Factors for Resilient Health System,” Prof. Akin Osibogun, professor of Public Health, University of Lagos defined resilient health system as one that is able to prevent epidemics and if epidemics do occur, it is able to respond to it, rapidly control it and thereafter, is able to come back to itself and withstand the shock.
To build a resilient health system, the Prof said, “you need to be thinking about a sustainable financing system built on such a way that the society can maintain it at anytime in its development journey; infrastructure and human capital: having skilled man power, properly and continually trained, who have access to latest information on health system management.”
On why the collaboration, Dr. Henk Van Den Heuvel of Vrije University Amsterdam said his institution has a long tradition of collaborating with universities, governments and NGOs for capacity building in various African countries.
He said the workshop was aimed at building management and leadership capabilities at all levels, and empowering them to take responsibilities to address global problems ravaging the health system.