As part of its Safe Birth Initiative, Coca-Cola Nigeria Ltd, delivered maternal and neonatal care equipment to the Federal Medical Centre, Ebute-Metta yesterday.
The Safe Birth Initiative is a Coca-Cola partnership with the Federal Ministry of Health, the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals and an NGO, Medshare International Inc.
A critical intervention that aims to tackle the high rate of maternal and newborn deaths in Nigeria, the Safe Birth Initiative is focused on supporting doctors and nurses to achieve successful birth outcomes by strengthening the capacity of target public hospitals in three critical areas including: the procurement of vital maternal and neonatal medical equipment and supplies to enable safe deliveries and post-delivery emergency care; training biomedical engineering technicians to improve equipment maintenance and uptime; and reactivating a large stock of abandoned medical equipment wasting away in public hospitals.
The equipment was formally handed over at a special event at the Federal Medical Centre, Ebute-Metta. Some of the dignitaries in attendance were Dr. Yahaya Hamza, Head Sectors, Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs (OSSAP-SDGs), representing Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs; Alhaji Ishola Balogun Fulani, Chairman, Board of Management, FMC Ebute-Metta; Mr Eben Armstrong, Director, Biomedical Engineering and Training, Medshare International; and Dr (Mrs) Folashade Oludara, Director, Family Health and Nutrition, Lagos State Ministry of Health, representing Dr Olajide Idris, Honourable Commissioner of Health, Lagos State. As part of the event, dignitaries joined in a facility tour led by Dr Adedamola Dada, Chief Medical Director, Federal Medical Centre, Ebute-Metta.
Federal Medical Center Ebute-Metta is the second out of the 15 hospitals set to receive a set of medical equipment provided under the Safe Birth Initiative. During the first phase, 15 major public hospitals across Nigeria recommended by the Federal Ministry of Health, will receive hospital equipment, kits and supplies worth a total conservative value of about $10.8 million, i.e. over N3.8 billion.
The Coca-Cola West Africa Public Affairs & Communications Director Mr Clem Ugorji said; “Active and intentional collaboration between members of the private and public sector is key to transforming healthcare in Nigeria. We commend the good work our doctors and nurses are doing but recognize that there is a limit to what they can do without the critical equipment required for effective diagnosis, testing and treatment. Through the Safe Birth Initiative, we are pleased to be able to donate vital equipment to aid the work currently being done to safeguard the lives of mothers and babies here at Federal Medical Centre, Ebute-Metta and the 14 other hospitals that will receive donations as part of the first phase of the Safe Birth Initiative.”
According to the National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS, 2013), Nigeria loses as many as 576 women per 100,000 childbirths and 37 newborn deaths per 1,000 live births, placing the country among the worst ratios for both maternal and newborn deaths globally.
Dr. Yahaya Hamza, Head Sectors, Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs (OSSAP-SDGs), representing Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs, also said, “The Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs is working assiduously to provide strategic guidance on the implementation of the SDGs in Nigeria. By making available a wide range of vital life-saving equipment, the Safe Birth Initiative is great support for the achievement of goal three (3) of the SDGs – good health and wellbeing for all. We hope that other private sector actors will follow Coca-Cola’s example in supporting Nigeria’s development aspirations.”
The Chief Medical Director, Federal Medical Centre, Ebute-Metta, Dr Adedamola Dada, said, “We are grateful to Coca-Cola, the OSSAP-SDGs, Medshare International and the Federal Government for this initiative. Already, since receiving the SBI equipment early this year, we have saved just a little under N10 million in medical and administrative costs. We have recorded and supported 21 premature births with the newly-installed incubators; 321 mothers and babies have been brought home alive, and 46,000 other patients have benefitted in some way from the SBI initiative. Coca-Cola has also ensured the sustainability of the programme and equipment, making sure we have adequate engineering capacity on the ground, through the training of our engineers, for preventive maintenance.”
Under the SBI, 20 biomedical engineering technicians have completed an intensive two-week capacity training focused on improving equipment maintenance and uptime. The technicians, who came from 10 leading medical institutions across the country, comprising university hospitals, federal medical centres and general hospitals, were trained by US-based Engineering World Health (EWH) at the School of Biomedical Engineering, Lagos University Teaching Hospital.
The first full consignment, four units of 40-foot shipping containers of medical equipment, was unveiled at the official launch of the SBI at the National Hospital, Abuja in November. The Launch event was attended by notable dignitaries, including the Honourable Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole; the Honourable Minister of Women Affairs, Hajiya Aisha Abubakar; and the Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs, Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire. More consignments for Federal Medical Centres Owerri and the General Hospital, Alimosho, Lagos are scheduled to arrive in the coming weeks while needs assessments continue at other approved hospitals to determine their specific requirements.