A walk into the female ward of the Ondo Trauma Centre on a Monday afternoon, you would not but notice the calm and beautiful 51-years-old Omotola Adeyemi as she sat pensively on the remote controlled orthopaedic bed at the female ward. She must be thinking about the night of February 16th 2014 and how she and her husband ended up at the Trauma Centre on their way from a social function.
Approaching her to speak with her must have reminded her of that silent and sorrowful night, the night of February 16th 2014. At first she declined talking to journalists, but when persuaded by one of the doctors, she decided to speak off-camera.
The Adeyemi’s Story
When Omotola Adeyemi and her husband, Oluwagbemiga Adeyemi left their home in Ondo Town on February 16, 2014 to attend a function in Okitipupa in the southern part of Ondo state which is less than a 2-hour drive from Ondo Town, little did the couple know that they won’t be returning to their home for weeks, they would have doubted the possibility of being in their neighbourhood for 2-months without getting to their abode.
“If not for this centre here, the two of us would have died that night,” Mrs. Adeyemi told this reporter in an emotional voice.
The Adeyemi’s case was an unusual one, not many lived to tell the story, most times people stand in twos, threes and fours to tell such story after the demise of those involved, those are the kind of stories that make front page of national dailies with the headline “couple die in auto-crash after attending funeral”.
Unlike Mrs. Adeyemi who declined speaking with journalist, her husband Mr. Oluwagbemiga Adeyemi seems to have put the past behind him and moved on with life. There was sign of enthusiasm boldly inscribed on his face as he spoke with this journalist.
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“If we were taken to Federal Medical Centre at Owo or the University Teaching Hospital at Ife that night, we probably would have died.”
“While coming back from Okitipupa where I and my wife went to attend a friend’s function, between Okitipupa and Ore, we had a very serious accident. I had a broken leg and my wife’s two legs were broken too, the car also got burnt, then we had a passer-by who came to our rescue and took us to Okitipupa General Hospital from where we were transferred to Trauma Centre here in Ondo,” he said.
The Adeyemi’s were full of praises to the Ondo State Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, not only for the construction of the Ondo Trauma, Centre, but for also equipping it with sophisticated medical equipments and qualified medical personnel. Mrs Adeyemi said.
“If we were taken to Federal Medical Centre at Owo or the University Teaching Hospital at Ife that night, we probably would have died. I appreciate the Governor for this institution, it is really saving lives.”
Corroborating his wife, Mr. Adeyemi said “We thank God for enabling the Governor to build this institution, this is really saving a lot of lives, it’s saving the citizenry from a lot of problems, in terms of giving accident victims prompt and efficient medical service. We want to appreciate God and the Governor for putting up this kind of institution here. If not for this centre here, the two of us would have died that night.”
“When we got here, immediately we were taken to the theatre where an operation was conducted on us and it was successful. We went for two operations and they were successful. There are adequate equipment in the hospital, the Doctors were up and doing and they lived to expectations.”
Maxwell’s Medical Journey
In a circumstance not too different from the Adeyemi’s story, is the case of 42-years-old Maxwell Asoro, an indigene of Delta state and a Ph.D holder, who was also involved in an auto accident in Lagos, but had to relocate to the Ondo Trauma Centre after lack of improvement at the private hospital where he was been treated in Lagos.
“I had an accident in 2013 and I’ve undergone different surgeries at a private hospital in Lagos, but the surgery failed. A friend of mine then recommended this place and I came from Lagos.
“I was admitted here in March 2014, and I had undergone two surgeries, one on my tibia (bone elongation) and I had partial hip replacement. I’m recuperating right now and I hope to be discharged in a few days from now.
“When I came I was marvelled with what I saw here in terms of the care and the facilities. My coming here from Lagos is really worth it” said a highly elated Maxwell.
Like many other patients at the centre, 28-years-old Omolara Fadayomi was excited at the construction of the Trauma Centre in Ondo, saying that with the establishment of the centre “the rate of casualty being recorded in road crashes in Ondo state and other neighbouring states will surely reduce drastically, if the people can find their way to the centre.”
What prompted the Governor Olusegun Mimiko-led Ondo State Government to build such a facility with standard and up to date medical equipments?
According to the head of the Policy, Research and Statistics Department of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Dr. Kayode Olagunju, between 1960 and 2012, some 1,060,507 crashes were recorded in Nigeria, with 322,427 deaths and 1,016,299 injuries.
“In 2012 alone, there was a report of a total of 4,260 deaths on Nigerian roads; an average of 12 persons died daily and with 20,752 injured.
“Hence, on the average, 69 persons were either injured or killed on our roads daily; 48,114 persons were involved in 6,269 documented cases,” Olagunju revealed.
In cases where accident victims manage to survive impact of the crash, their woes are aggravated by their rescuers. Then there is the issue of getting to a care centre in time. For many accident victims, a care centre if often far away from the scene of the accident. Then there remains the challenge of finding a modern and adequate facility. The Ondo Trauma Centre fills these gaps.
The Mimiko Solution
Having put all these into consideration and to combat this challenge, the Chief Medical Director of the Ondo Trauma Centre, Dr. Olugbenga Ige, an orthopedic and spine surgeon, noted, “We have Advanced Life Support Ambulances on the highways located in stations specially constructed to allow these ambulances to easily access the highways and cover the length of the highways where they are located.
“When there is an accident, we have toll free numbers that people can call to get direct access to our call centre and notify us of an accident, when we get the calls, these ambulances that are stacked with paramedics, the extricators, and rescuers get to the scene of accident within 15 minutes, and professionally rescue victims from a wreckage of accident, such that they do not aggravate the degree of injury sustained and actually give them chances to survive, due to the extent of injury they’ve sustained and properly transport them to where the injury can be properly cared for.”
Highlighting some of the distinct features that make the ambulance standout among other kinds of ambulance, the CMD said; “In the ambulances, we have advanced life support gadgets, in addition we’ve also trained ordinary citizens to be first respondents, there is an ongoing campaign on that and we are still recruiting more people into the system.”
Bearing in mind that the desired result cannot be achieved with Ondo Trauma Centre alone, which is located at the central part of the state, and to ensure that accident victims are promptly and appropriately attended to in a well-equipped facility, the state government have also upgraded the accident and emergency unit of general hospitals across the state to handle to a great extent, some level of injuries and the apex of this hospital system is the Trauma Centre at Ondo.
“With our well equipped facility, when an accident victim gets to this hospital they are promptly and appropriately attended to, and irrespective of the nature or severity of injuries sustained by victims, once they get here, they are given a genuine chance of survival,” Ige, heads the world class 100-bed medical facility, boasted.
360 Health Solutions
In spite of the qualified and well trained personnel and the state of the art equipments available at the centre, the cost of treatment is affordable to all class of citizens.
Governor Mimiko had, in his second term inaugural address, stated that one of the major aims of building the Trauma Centre is to “drastically reduce the toll of trauma especially Road Traffic Accident on our people.”
First with the Mother and Child Hospital in Akure in 2010 and Ondo in 2012, which has drastically reduced infant and maternal mortality in the state, Mimiko’s success in the health sector cannot be over-emphasised, many a times it has been echoed and re-echoed in the media such that the Abiye Safe Motherhood has become an household name in Nigeria and beyond, not only that, the initiative has also won him local and global awards and accolades.
While many have attributed Mimiko’s success in the health sector to his background as a medical doctor. Experts in governance, however, attribute Mimiko’s proactiveness in revolutionising the medical care system in Ondo to the governor’s political will and vision “to provide quality health care for the people at zero and affordable cost”.
The yet-to-be-commissioned Ondo Trauma has been accredited for Post-Graduate Residency Training in Radiology and Anaesthesia by the West African College of Surgeons (WACS) and National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria (NPMCN). Local and International experts have however noted that the centre is now a model for other states in the country and in the Africa continent.
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Michael Orodare is a freelance journalist who lives and works in Akure, Ondo State. This article is culled from Ondo TV.