The number of coronavirus-associated deaths in Lagos State increased to 181 on Wednesday with four more fatalities, said the state’s Health Commissioner, Prof Akin Abayomi.
The Lagos State Government has commenced phased refurbishment and renovation of all general hospitals in the State in line with the current administration’s medical infrastructure blueprint strategy which is aimed at revamping health facilities and make them fit for purpose.
State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, who disclosed this on Tuesday after a facility inspection tour of two secondary health facilities; Ebute Metta and Harvey Road Health Centres, said that have been approved for refurbishment in 2021.
He noted that the refurbishment and renovation strategy which commenced last year would address the issues of design faults, drainage, patient flow, staff flow, water collection, infection prevention compliance or non-compliance, energy and ventilation.
Abayomi said: “Mr Governor already knows the state of the General Hospitals and his mandate is that we do a deep refurbishment in all the general hospitals and bring them all to a standard that is acceptable at an international standard.
“So, instead of repairing the general hospitals in little pieces every year, we are coming to a number of hospitals every year to do a complete refurbishing so that by the time we finish it will look like a brand new hospital and we won’t need to come back to that hospital for a number of years, and then, we move on every year to refurbish six-seven or eight hospitals; that way in two or three years, we would have covered most of the hospitals in Lagos State.”
Abayomi while noting that eight hospitals have been earmarked for deep refurbishment in 2021 in addition to the ones started last year, added that the refurbishment and renovation project would also focus on bringing down the carbon footprints in the medical infrastructure and embracing renewable energy like solar, inverters and natural ventilators.
“We are trying to keep the hospitals a low energy and low carbon footprints; we don’t want the Medical Director to spend their IGR on diesel and fueling Generators. So, where we can cool a building down naturally and use renewable energy like solar or naturally ventilators or inverters, we would do that just to bring down the carbon footprints of all our medical infrastructure and reduce the use of fossil fuel and generally redesign the building or rehabilitate it to be a lot cooler”
“We are also paying attention to sanitation; toilet, wash hand basins and we are making sure that all the fittings are robust, strong and dependable so that for five-ten years, none of the replacement will suffer underlying disrepair. So, that is generally what the intention is,” he said.
He noted that repair and refurbishment would be carried out in such a way that would not allow for major repairs in another decade except for continuous maintenance that would be done by the hospital management in collaboration with the Lagos State Asset Maintenance Agency (LASIAMA).
“For the refurbished buildings, you will see that we are going to do complete refurbishing and replacement, making sure that we pay attention to all the issue that I earlier highlighted and once we finish, we come and commission and for five to ten years, we won’t have to come back except for minor issues where the Medical Directors will use their IGR to fix while we move on to other hospitals and health facilities in the State doing the same thing.
“We have about 27 general hospitals, so we have a lot of work to do but we are making sure that everywhere we go, we are going right to fix and address the problem; the structural integrity, ventilation, Infection Prevention and Control, movement of patients and staff, power, flooding and all kinds of issues”, the Commissioner said.
Abayomi disclosed that the State government has embarked on some Greenfield medical infrastructure projects to prevent issues noticed in health infrastructure across all levels of care in the State. He added that all issues bedevilling medical health infrastructure will disappear when Governor Jide Sanwo-Olu’s Medical Infrastructure Blueprint strategy is rolled out.
“So the hospitals we will be building henceforth would be design fit for purpose with attention to all the issues mentioned. We have competent contractors, project managers and medical facilities project implementation unit; a robust team that does the pre-assessment and project manage the contractors and the consultants to ensure we are getting what we want. There will be no shortcuts, we are not going to accept or tolerate short cuts. What we pay for, is what we are going to get”, he said.
Abayomi noted that with the ongoing refurbishment and roll out of the Governor’s medical infrastructure blueprint, the medical infrastructure landscape of the State would look completely different adding that attention would be paid on maintenance.
“There is no point coming in here to do a deep refurbishment only to allow it to disintegrate afterwards. Once we have done a deep refurbishment, we have an agency that is responsible for Maintenance and they are part of the refurbishment strategy and once we finish, then we are going to have what we call a maintenance culture to make sure the infrastructure does not suffer dilapidation due to neglect.
“So all the engineers on-site would be programmed for maintenance and LASIAMA would come in and set up a facility management programme and make sure the deep refurbishment done is maintained”, the Commissioner said.