By Chioma Obinna
The joy that comes with safe delivery will soon become a commonplace across communities in Lagos State and pregnancy will no longer be seen as a death sentence with the return of Ayinke House, the popular baby factory in the state.
Interestingly, the new facility is back and better with 170-bed space and equipped with all facilities to cater for newborns. There are fears that the new Ayinke House now known as Institute of Maternal and Child Healthcare facility, may draw even women who have stopped childbearing to go back to the labour ward.
Lagos State has maternal death ratio of 450 per 100,000 as well as newborn death ratio of 37 per 1000 according to 2013 National Health and Demographic Survey, NDHS, and the newly commissioned Institute is geared towards promoting the health of the mother and child during pregnancy, childbirth and after delivery. It will also offer family planning and assisted reproduction.
The digitalized Institute of Maternal and Child Health under its emergency department has 16 – bed capacity Acute Care ward, five Operation Theatres, 8 Labour/Delivery Suites, and side Laboratory, with three-Organ Support Capability, 30 Special care baby Unit spaces, 5 Neonatal Intensive Care Units, Main Laboratory with 3 additional Side Laboratories, Blood Bank, 30 incubators with automatic oxygen delivery capacity and neonatal life support.
It also parades special care unit with 30 incubators 28-bed posts natal ward and five Transport Incubators with Oxygen delivery system, blood bank, mobile digitalized X-ray bay among others.
To ensure safe deliveries of mothers, already, a total of 21 Consultant Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, 45 Resident doctors, 5 Neonatologists, 10 Resident Pediatricians, and two Anesthetists, among others have been recruited.
Prior to the upgrade and expansion of the facility, Ayinke house was built by Late Chief Mobolaji Bank-Anthony in 1990 in honour of his mother, Madam Ayinke and donated to Lagos State Government.
Before now, the old Ayinke House had 80-bed capacity with just one theatre with equipment at the facility old and obsolete.
However, to sustain the philanthropy of Sir Mobolaji Bank-Anthony, the State Government during the administration of Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, awarded the contract for the expansion and reconstruction of the facility. The project was completed nine years after, courtesy of Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode.
Governor Ambode said beyond the significance of the facility for the health sector, the Institute is a major contribution to the education sector as it becomes a veritable platform for medical students in the State University to enhance their exposure and experience with the top-class medical equipment provided.
Ambode said the new Ayinke House is completely digitalised with state-of-the-art medical equipment as well as information technology services supported by the State Ministry of Science and Technology.
The State Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris who disclosed that approximately N6 billion was expended on the project through the project was abandoned a couple of years ago, it was rewarding for the government to complete it.
“Looking at this facility here it is meant to be the highest level of care that is for maternal and child health in Lagos state, while those specialist care cannot be found in other hospitals, those things that actually kill our pregnant mothers and newborn babies early in life can be taken care of here.
“For the newborns, we have intensive care for them, very few hospitals have that and we have about 30 of such units here and that will address the newborn care especially premature babies. The whole idea is to reduce the mortality rate.”
On his part the Chief Medical Director, Prof Adetokumbo Fabanwo who was a former medical director of Ayinke said the commissioning was historical for him because he was present when they commissioned the old Ayinke house in 1990.
“I was one of the three consultants that worked here. Today, I happen to be the Chief Medical Director to open the new Ayinke house.
He disclosed that a total of 250 additional staff was recruited just for the new Ayinke House.
Some of the first patients who spoke to Good Health Weekly narrated their experiences. For them, it was London in Nigeria.
In the views of Mrs Judith Onubogu who was admitted the night before the commissioning, “I got here yesterday in the evening; it was very beautiful like small London. When we got here it was very cold. The air conditioners were working at a point we requested they should off the central air conditioner because we could not cope any more.
“For what I have seen so far, the nurses and student doctors and the consultants, are friendly and effective. I thank God and the state government for a good job. I feel good and happy,” she stated.
Another patient, who identified herself as Mrs Ebun Shode, described the facility as fantastic. “It is different from where we are coming from. The doctors here are friendly. I will only say that the government the good work. I thank Governor Ambode for providing this place,” she added.