Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN (3rd right) interacting with a one of the beneficiaries, Mrs. Grace Akinjayeja (on bed) during the Surgical Intervention of the Lagos State Goitre Control Programme at the Theatre Units of the Critical Care Unit (CCU) and Lagos State Emergency Management Service (LASEMS), Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja, Lagos, on Tuesday, April 15, 2014. With him are: Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris (2ndright), Special Adviser on Public Health, Dr Yewande Adeshina (right) and the Coordinator, Eko Free Health Mission, Dr (Mrs.) Dolapo Fashawe (left).
Lagos State Government has vowed to control the incidence of Goitre attack by tackling the disease frontally through surgical operations and investigations into its root cause.
The Governor, Babatunde Fashola (SAN) gave the assurance on Tuesday, 15th April, 2014, when he witnessed the flag off of the Goitre control programme for Badagry patients at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, where he said the state had a firm commitment to bring the disease under control.
Speaking at the frontage of the BT Ward located in the premises of the General Hospital, Ikeja, Fashola added that the presence crop of medical personnel taking charge of the programme will be given a free hand to determine how best they can accommodate the large number of patients afflicted by the diseases.
He gave a firm commitment that all the patients who have been brought from Badagry and screened will be attended to in the presence treatment exercise after the doctors have determined how ready they are to undergo surgeries.
He added that the state government has also resolved to include treatment and surgery for Goitre in the regular medical mission of the state which normally includes ante natal screening, diabetes screening, consultations and treatment of hernia round the state.
Fashola expressed happiness that the Goitre intervention developed at the primary health care level in the local governments during one of the medical missions at Badagry, where an unusual swelling was observed among many of those who attended the programme, stating that it clearly confirms the correctness of the focus on that level by the state and that it is impactful.
The Governor stated that as to the cause of Goitre, medical experts have said it is an iodine deficiency but that the state has commissioned the commencement of a study in Badagry towards ascertaining what really the cause is, adding that the result of the study will be made available to the state thereafter.
He used the occasion to thank all the residents of the state who have been paying their taxes regularly, adding that all of the drugs deployed in the treatment of the patients and the food and hotel accommodation which they enjoyed have been courtesy of the taxes paid by tax compliant residents.
He also expressed appreciation to all the health officers for their commitment to public health, reiterating that the responsibility to secure life of citizens does not start and end with physical security in terms of the Police alone but about ensuring the total well being of the people.
Governor Fashola wished all those who have not taken their turns at the surgical table a successful surgery, adding that no one especially the woman folk looks beautiful with a swelling round the neck but that by the time the operation is carried out, they will all look very beautiful.
Speaking earlier, the state Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris described the commencement of the treatment programme as another testimony of the promise made and promise kept stance of the present administration in Lagos State.
He added that the state government is also committed to finding out the root cause of the prevalence of Goitre in that part of the state and has started that process towards ensuring that it is tackled from the source.
He commended the medical staff at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) for being very fantastic in their handling of the patients since the commencement of the treatment programme.
In his welcome address, the Medical Director of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Professor Wale Oke stated that since Monday, 14th April, 2014, when the programme started, 11 people have had surgical interventions.
He also informed that when the programme was to commence, 30 people were identified for operation but that another 23 have been identified for treatment also, maintaining that the Goitre treatment programme will cascade round the whole state.
Testimonies were also given by some of the beneficiaries of the Goitre treatment programme and in one of them, Mrs Olayinka Godonuve expressed gratitude of all the beneficiaries to the state government for the free treatment which will save them from social stigma.
She added that she has gone to several places in search of medical solution to the swellings in her neck, adding that she has also been to Cotonou in Benin Republic where she was charged N130,000 for a surgical operation to remove it.
She explained that all the patients were very warmly received by the medical personnel starting from the Badagry General Hospital down to Ikeja and did not demand any form of payment from her and also said she was given free accommodation and free feeding by the State Government.
Also speaking, another patient, Mrs Mojisaola Pyone expressed her deep appreciation to the Governor for coming to their aid with the commencement of the medical treatment which has been a source of concern to all of them.
She said that they have been deceived severally by people who have swindled them and warned them against undertaking surgical operation for Goitre because it will lead to their untimely deaths.
She also appealed to the Governor to consider accommodating several people who might not have been catered for in the present exercise, adding that the Governor is their God sent messiah.
The Governor later went round the ward to see some of the patients who had already undergone treatment and surgical operations.
Prominent among those who attended the event were some members of the State Executive Council including the state Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mrs Sola Oworu, her Rural Development counterpart, Hon Cornelius Ojelabi and the Special Adviser to the Governor on Rural Development, Mr Babatunde Hunpe as well as the Asoju Oba of Lagos, Sir Molade Okoya Thomas and Erelu of Lagos, Chief (Mrs) Abiola Dosunmu and several others.