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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Olusegun Mimiko: Giving Ondo State A Clean Bill of Health (PHOTOS)

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[dropcap]W[/dropcap]hen in March, 2015, the executive governor of Ondo State, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, inaugurated the State’s University of Medical Sciences, the first of its kind in Africa, it was an opportunity to come to terms with the landmark achievements in that blessed state starting with the health sector.

The university itself is located within the now popular Medical Village in Ondo Town that is just 4 kilometres away from Akure the capital city. The Village can be described as a one-stop-spot for accessing first class medical care for persons of all ages, from primary to even tertiary medical needs.

As a medical doctor himself, Dr. Mimiko is very much aware that health is wealth. The health of Ondo people and their neighbouring states is of paramount importance to the governor that he established the Medical Village to cater for the health needs of the people. Once a people are healthy, they are wealthy, once they are wealthy, they are happy. No amount of wealth can be compared to a sound health, hence, the governor’s relentless pursuit of his goals to make Ondo people healthy and happy.

The Village consists the Ondo State Trauma and Medical Centre; Mother and Child Hospital; Kidney and Dialysis Centre; a Diagnostic Centre, and the University of Medical Sciences. Also to be added to the list and soon-to-take off facilities are the Histopathology and Forensic Centre, and the Emergency Communications Centre. The advantages of siting these institutions close to each other are too numerous to mention.

For example, the Ondo State Trauma and Surgical Centre which commenced clinical and surgical services only in November, 2013, with the following specialties: Orthopaedics and Trauma, Plastic Surgery, ENT, Anaesthesia and General Surgery, has since continued to improve and augment services, infrastructure and personnel to include Paediatric Surgery, Urology, Maxillofacial Surgery and Ophthalmology. The centre has carried out over 3,000 surgeries as at November 2015. It is also noteworthy that the Centre runs a 24-hour service for almost all these medical requirements in order to meet the people’s growing needs.

To further strengthen the State’s emergency medical services, the government established the Ondo State Emergency Medical Services Agency (ODEMSA) with the mandate to provide emergency rescue, pre-hospital and hospital services to road crash victims in the state.

As a result, 5 fully functional Accident Rescue Stations along the highways across Ondo State have been built at Ore, Bolorunduro, Ilara, Owo and Oka-Akoko with several extractors and dedicated paramedics who work 24hrs in all the stations. The response time to accident scenes is currently 15 minutes with plans to further reduce it in future.

Furthermore, each station has an Advanced Life Support Vehicle fully equipped with oxygen and other essentials needed to sustain accident victims while they are being conveyed to the nearest hospital or the Trauma Center.

Then comes the Mother and Child Hospital whose services centre around unfettered free health care for children under the age of five, and pregnant women in Ondo State and its environs. Recently, the hospital’s mandate was expanded to accommodate the care for the full range of gynaecological practice leading to accreditations by the Faculty of Obstetrics & Gynaecology of Post Graduate College of Nigeria and West African College of Surgeons.

Although the hospital was only commissioned on November 30, 2012, as at 31st December 2015, it has registered and treated 45,021 patients (including 17,913 pregnant women and 25,600 children). The hospital which has become a medical tourist centre of sort, combined with the Mother and Child Hospital in Akure, the capital city, the hospital has recorded a total of about 50,000 deliveries of which about 80% were normal while the remaining about 20% were through caesarean section.

These statistics make the Mother and Child Hospital, Ondo, one of the busiest and most impactful maternity and Paediatric centres in the country. The most astonishing of all these facts is that all services were done FREE OF CHARGE. Yes, free of charge!

Translate the effect of all these into naira, and one would discover that it is worth more than hundreds of millions; translate the number of lives saved (that could have been denied access to medical care because of cost, one would be confounded to also discover that it is worth more than the total allocations of the state under the same period and even beyond except anyone wants to place monetary value on any life.

Apart from being the second largest dialysis centre in Nigeria, the Ondo State Kidney and Dialysis Centre is the first in Africa to discover and report the rare co-existence of lupus nephritis and Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease through its research drive. Given that only 32 cases of this complex disease have been reported worldwide, this report by the Centre is no mean feat, and the report shall soon be published in the prestigious Annals of African Medicine magazine.

Time and space would not allow for the rolling out of the other achievements of the Medical Village. However, suffice it to say that the mentioned facts above speak volume for themselves.

To continue to provide quality leadership and personnel for these and other health facilities worldwide, the Ondo State government under Dr Olusegun Mimiko has embarked on a series of capacity building programmes and establishment of quality institutions. For example, the Mother and Child Hospital has since entered an Exchange Programme Affiliation with the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics, Iowa, USA, one of the most globally recognized tertiary hospitals, where some staff go on courses to keep pace with new discoveries in the health sector. This in addition to the University of Medical Sciences (UNIMED) established to not only provide the much needed quality medical education to its people, but to also continually provide quality personnel for the nation in particular and the world in general.

From the foregoing, it is quite obvious that Olusegun Mimiko has proved to be among the very few African leaders who have shown genuine leadership qualities and use same for the ultimate benefits of their people even in the midst of very scarce resources.

While other leaders, governors and presidents inclusive, have been living on excuses and blaming previous administrations, the governor of Ondo State has kept on working, providing purposeful leadership and giving the good people of Ondo State a clean bill of health because health is wealth!

Jude Ndukwe is a political analyst who lives and works in Abuja, Nigeria. He is a member of The Trent’s Elite Columnists. His column is published every Friday. He tweets from@stjudendukwe.

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