In the last two decades, Nigeria has made little progress in reducing deaths rates among newborn. While it has made progress in reducing under-5 mortality since 1990, a quick review of Nigeria’s health indices shows it is struggling to keep pace with indicators key in achieving the Millennium Development Goal 4 & 5 which seeks to reduce child mortality by two thirds and improve maternal health by 2015.
Evident in a recent report by Save the Children International titled “State of the World’s Mothers 2013, Nigeria had one of the highest numbers of maternal and newborn deaths with 40,000 women dying annually during pregnancy and childbirth and over 250,000 babies dying in their first month of life.
As majority of these deaths are traced to malaria, respiratory tract infection, diarrhoea, etc, that could be prevented if delivery of quality primary care services function at optimal capacity and childcare taken seriously in the country, experts have called for increased investment which is as a critical tool in safeguarding child health.
Speaking during the signing of deed of ownership of Otunba Tunwase National Paediatric Centre to College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Subomi Balogun, founder, Otunba Tunwase National Paediatric Centre, said that he was donating the hospital to UI as part of his contribution to healthcare delivery in Nigeria, especially that of improving children’s health.
With the hospital upgraded to a tertiary referral centre for teaching, research and healthcare delivery for infants and children, Balogun, who is also group chairman, First City Group, urged UI management to improve on hospital standard and make it one of the best health institutions in the world.
Balogun explained “I have seen so many children suffer as a result of lack of adequate healthcare delivery. Building a hospital like ‘The Great Ormond Street Hospital’ in London, dedicated to healthcare and welfare of children informed erecting the edifice, situated on a 50-acre piece of land along Sagamu-Benin express way, Ijebu Ode.
He added, “I don’t want it to be handled by sub-standard people and that is why I am donating the hospital to UI management as a total gift. I hope UI extend services in the hospital beyond children, to other critical area of medicine. Prior to the handover of the hospital to UI, over Two Billion Naira has been invested on medical facilities and other overhead costs.”
Responding, Isaac Adewole, vice chancellor, University of Ibadan, said the handing over of the hospital was significant in the