Lagos Doctors Begin Indefinite Strike

Lagos doctorsMedical doctors working for the Lagos State Government on Monday began an indefinite strike over several protracted issues with the state government.

The Lagos doctors, under the aegis of the Medical Guild, are aggrieved over issues which include alleged engagement of doctors as casual workers and the withholding of doctors’ salaries for May 2012 and from August to September 2014 over the doctors involvement in industrial action.

Meanwhile the state government has described the current strike as illegal, just like the former one.

In a press statement signed by the State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Lateef Ibirogba, the government says it is a fact that those health workers who did not work during the stated period were not paid.

This, Mr Ibirogba said is in line with the “no work no pay rule” policy of the government which is in accordance with international employment practices and the Trade Disputes Act.

He therefore advised the Lagos doctors to resume at their respective duty positions while discussions with the state government are ongoing.

Ebola Update: Fashola Gives N76m To First Consultant Hospital, Others

First consultantThe Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola has donated N50 million to First Consultant Medical Centre, Obalende, where the index case of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), was reported.

This was stated in a press release by the Ministry Of Health, which was signed by the Assistant Director, Press & Public Relations, Tunbosun Ogunbanwo.

The Governor also presented N26 million to all the 13 EVD casualties and survivors in the state to enable them carry on with their lives.

The Governor, who was represented by the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, at a brief cheque presentation ceremony held at the Ministry of Health’s Conference Room, Alausa commended the survivors for the roles they played in the containment of EVD, adding that the gesture goes to show that the State Government had not forgotten the sacrifices made by both survivors and casualties of EVD.

He explained that each of the 13 survivors and relatives of the dead victims would get N2 million each as government support for their humanitarian service during the containment, while the First Consultant Medical Centre, who bore the brunt of the outbreak of the disease would get N50 million.

He added that the State Government would also support the facility in any way it can to bring the facility back to business.

Fashola, who described the gesture as a support to the heroes and heroines of the Ebola-Free Nigeria, noted that it was not a compensation but an act of showing compassion for a group of highly patriotic Nigerians who rescued the nation from a deadly epidemic at their own expense.

According to Fashola, the outbreak and eventual containment of the disease was a phenomenon, adding that since the outbreak of EVD till date, Nigeria had only contributed 0.22% and 0.18% to the global burden of the suspected confirmed cases and deaths respectively.

The Governor added that the State Government is addressing some issues which emanates from the containment of the deadly disease stressing that these includes the issues of stigmatization, level of preparedness for outbreak of infectious diseases, upgrade of infectious disease hospital to handle any infectious disease and delving into research to contribute to the body of knowledge for EVD.

“We cannot compensate First Consultant Medical Centre fully for their losses. We want to show our appreciation to the facility, the survivors and families of the dead victims for their sacrifices that made containment of the disease possible.

“We would do all within our powers to bring the facility back on its feet and in business and re-secure the patronage of their customers.”

He concluded that the facility has been decontaminated and have been certified by the World Health Organization to be fit to return to the business of medical services stressing that he, including officials of the State Ministry have also visited the facility.

The Chief Medical Director of First Consultant Medical Centre, Benjamin Ohaeri, thanked the Governor and the State Government for the gesture stressing that this would restore hope and enliven the atmosphere at the hospital, as well as boost the morale of the personnel.

Also present at the ceremony were the Commissioner for Information, Mr. Lateef Ibirogba; Commissioner for Special Duties, Dr. Wale Ahmed; Special Adviser to the Governor on Environment, Dr. Taofik Folami; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr. ‘Modele Osunkiyesi and Permanent Secretary PHC Board, Dr. Kayode Oguntimehin.

Fashola Prays At Central Mosque, Wishes Muslims, Nigerians Peace

FasholaA large congregation of Muslim faithful gathered the central mosque on Lagos Island to observe the Eid prayer session.

Amongst them was the Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, who used the occasion to wish all Muslims a blessed celebration and all Nigerians peace.

The Governor spoke on the need for peaceful co-existence in the country and also expressed gratitude to God for seeing the country through all the challenges of the recent past.

The Governor, who spoke with newsmen after the prayers at the Lagos Central Mosque, Nnamdi Azikiwe Street, Lagos, said that whatever Nigerians want for themselves lie in their hands to achieve.

“I am sure that all will be well and it must be well only because we want it to be well. If it is well within us, it will be well around us and it will be well in our nation. In the last one year, everyday has been a season of countless blessings in spite of unwanted developments.

“As long as one is alive, you must remain grateful for many things, peace, health, well being and so long as there is hope, yesterday’s challenges can become history about how we turned things around. Those things should never overcome us”, he added.

Governor Fashola added that being alive means that there is a possibility to learn from the past to improve upon the future.

“We must be builders in our actions, and in our thoughts and in our general disposition and therefore, tomorrow, we can build from today.”

Prominent among those who observed the Sallah prayers alongside the Governor were the Baba Adinni of Lagos, Sheikh Abou Afeez and some members of the State Executive Council including the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Mr Lanre Babalola and Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Lateef Ibirogba.

 

Doctor Who Contracted Ebola Disease Not Dead-LASG

Jide-Idris-commissioner-for-healthLagos State Government on Tuesday affirmed that the female medical doctor who tested positive to the Ebola Virus after treating a Liberian diplomat that died of the disease after arriving in Nigeria is still alive.

Addressing newsmen at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, Alausa, the State Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris, noted that the female medical doctor who attended to the case of Ebola Virus Disease at a private hospital in Lagos is the only confirmed case to date out of the eight primary contact under clinical surveillance and care.

“Her being infected is largely due to the fact that she was a primary contact when the index case presented. At that point in time, the disease was not known to have been imported into the country”, Idris explained.

He stressed that the essence of the briefing is to highlight the mode of transmission of Ebola Virus Disease stressing that the disease is transmissible through direct contact with broken skin, mucous membranes and secretions of an infected person or through direct contact with materials and surfaces that have been contaminated by an infected person.

“This is a call for vigilance as human to human transmission is only achieved by physical contact with a person who is acutely and gravely ill from Ebola virus through body fluids such as blood, urine, stool, saliva, breast milk and semen. Burial ceremonies where mourners including family members have direct contact with patients who died of Ebola have also played a role in the spread of the disease”, Idris said.

The Commissioner noted that in Africa, infection has also occurred through the handling of infected chimpanzees, monkeys, gorillas, fruit bats, antelopes and porcupines adding that there has been no case of transmission by domestic animals like pigs.

He urged everyone to be vigilant especially with regard to relating with people who are ill, stressing that there is no cause to panic as long as basic precautionary measures such as hand washing, adoption of appropriate waste management and enhanced personal and environmental hygiene are adhered to.

Idris opined that precautionary measures such as hand washing, adoption of appropriate waste management and enhanced personal and environmental hygiene is relevant especially when large congregations are expected with a mix of people from other part of the world and commended the responsiveness and cooperation received from the Redeemed Christian Church of God in this regard during the church’s on-going Convention.

While appreciating various health workers who have selflessly committed to this cause of preventing the spread of the virus in the areas of contact tracing, case management and decontamination, the Commissioner appealed to other health workers like doctors, nurses, environmental health workers and phlebotomists to come on board and complement the state health workforce.

He also appealed to striking doctors to return to work and urged other health workers to sheath their swords and embrace team work in the drive to stem the spread of the disease in the state.

“We also count on the cooperation of the good people of Lagos State as your government, in partnership with the Federal government may need in the course of taking decisions in the overriding interest of the public, institute measures that may be considered inconvenient to some people”, Idris said.

He explained that relevant digital platforms have been set up for ease of reference, information and communication flow and that the platforms include Help line: 0800 EBOLA HELP (0800326524357); Website: www.ebolaalert.org; Facebook: fb.com/ebolaalert; and Twitter: @ebolaalert.

Also present at the briefing were the Commissioner for Special Duties, Dr Wale Ahmed and his Information and Strategy counterpart, Mr Lateef Ibirogba.

No Fresh Case Of Ebola In Lagos – LASG

ebola2The Lagos State Government on Wednesday again reiterated that no fresh case of the dreaded Ebola Virus Disease has been found in the State or any part of the country.

According to the Special Adviser to the Governor on Public Health, Dr. (Mrs) Yewande Adeshina, none of the persons said to have come in contact with the late Liberian victim of the Ebola Virus Disease, Mr Pat Sawyer, has manifested unusual body temperature or any other symptom of the dreaded virus.

She explained that all the 59 persons who were in close contact with the deceased Liberian in Nigeria are hale and hearty and have not exhibited any unusual symptoms, just as there has been no case of the dreaded disease from the country’s borders.

Meanwhile, the Commissioner for Information, Lateef Ibirogba, has advised Lagosians to be wary of the activities of fraudsters who are making spurious claims about their ability to provide cure for the Ebola Virus Disease, urging them to always contact health providers to report unusual feelings noticed.

He cautioned the people to desist from sending panicky text messages round about the Ebola Disease that could heighten tension and create anxiety.

He also called on those who want to make cheap money from the case to desist from their strange claims of cure for the disease lest they run afoul of the law, as only medical solutions are known to be appropriate for the disease.

He reminded residents of the state to make use of the emergency phone numbers: 08023169485, 08033086660, 08033065303, 08055281442 and 08055329229 provided to contact health authorities in case anyone with observed symptoms of the Ebola disease is noticed.

The Commissioner further advised residents to observe the highest level of personal environmental hygiene, adding that they should visit hospitals or Primary Health Centres nearest to them to report strange feelings noticed.

Ebola: Lagos Govt. Confirms Death Of Suspected Liberian Carrier

Ebola Lagos Media BriefingThe Lagos State Government on Friday confirmed that the Liberian native, who was admitted in a private hospital in Lagos over a reported case of Ebola disease, passed away on Thursday night.

Addressing a Press Conference on the development at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, Alausa, the Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris, said that the ministry had started collaborating with all other agencies to treat the body and ensure that it is properly disposed.

He added that because the victim was a foreign national, certain diplomatic steps have to be taken, which includes contacting the Liberian Embassy and ensuring the sanitization of the hospital where the victim was hospitalized before his death.

Dr Idris also stated that the ministry was in contact with the hospital to ensure that the corpse of the victim is sanitized and that the virus is killed to prevent it from spreading.

He also said that steps were being taken by the ministry in collaboration with federal agencies to man all the border points in the state towards preventing any case of anyone with suspected symptoms coming into the state.

The Commissioner explained that the ministry was also engaged in contact tracing with all those whom the victim came into contact with before his death and that the manifest of the aircraft which brought him to Lagos has been obtained by the ministry.

He reiterated that all of such people would be questioned and observed in the next 21 days to ascertain their state of health, adding that the State Government would also set up a treatment centre in case of any other reported case of the Ebola disease in the state.

He maintained that the initial test carried out on the victim at Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) has confirmed that the man contracted Ebola but that the result of a confirmatory test was still being awaited from Dakar, Senegal to conclude the tests.

In addition, the Special Adviser on Public Health, Dr Yewande Adesina, cautioned members of the general public to desist from sending panicky messages via their phones and on social media about the issue.

She stressed that the State Government was on top of the situation, and this explains the reason why there had been media briefings periodically on developments about the case since it broke.

Additionally, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Lateef Ibirogba, said that the residents of the state should go about their lawful businesses, with the highest assurances that effective health measures have been put in place to guard against the spread of the disease from any source.

Also present at the briefing were the Special Adviser on Information and Strategy, Mr. Lateef Raji and Permanent Secretary, Primary Health Care Board, Dr Oguntimehin.

A health facility in Lagos reported to the Ministry of Health in the state about the admission of a 40-year-old Liberian working for a West African organization in Monrovia that arrived Lagos on a flight from Monrovia via Lome, Togo on Sunday July 20, 2014 at 4PM on suspicion of suffering from the Ebola Virus.

Fashola Hosts Army Chief, Urges Military To Defend Nation’s Democracy

Fashola with COASLagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola, on Tuesday charged the military in the country to always do everything possible to protect and nurture the nation’s budding democracy to enable it grow and benefit all Nigerians.

The Governor, who made the call while hosting the new Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant- General Kenneth Minimah, at the Lagos House, Marina, noted that it was the responsibility of the military to defend and support democracy to grow, once any society has moved to embrace it as its system of government.

“Across Europe before the institution of democracy, the military played a substantial role in governance, but once the society moves on, as we have moved on to embrace democracy, the military must do everything possible to sustain that democracy and must refrain from anything that will undermine that democracy, whether in the minds of the people or individually”, the Governor said.

Acknowledging that the nation’s military had done very well in this area as well as in the defence of the nation’s territorial integrity, Fashola noted that there were a few bad eggs that must not be allowed to destroy the good reputation of the military.

The Governor declared, “We know that the military has done very well; but like in every other institution, there is always a few bad eggs. They are in the minority and, as I always say, we must do everything possible to fish them out and put them where they belong.”

He congratulated the new Army boss on his elevation and noted that it has been the lot of every military officer who has had the privilege to serve in Lagos to be elevated as soon as he or she is moved from the state as was the case of the last two General Officers Commanding (GOCs) who moved from the state.

The Governor ascribed this to a rub-off effect of the state as ‘Centre of Excellence’ saying, “As the Centre of Excellence, I do not think anybody should expect anything less from those who served here because of the multi-national family that you interact with here and the experience that it brings. The challenges, of course, are many”.

He prayed that the new Army boss and his officers and men would find the needed inspiration as they continue to tackle the insecurity challenges facing the nation and, expressed the hope that the Military would also take all measures to secure the territorial integrity of the country.

“Let me lend my voice of inspiration as you and your officers and men respond to the national insecurity challenges that we face as a nation and we hope also that you will take all the measures that you need to secure the territorial integrity of the country”, he said.

Earlier, in his opening remarks, the Chief of Army Staff said that he was in Lagos as part of his tour of the Army formations under his command across the country, adding that the courtesy visit was a routine one normally made to Chief Executives of states where he visits before undertaking the tour of the formation in any state.

Thanking the Governor for rescheduling his travel for lesser Haddj in order to receive him, Lt. Gen. Minimah expressed delight at meeting the Governor and promised to do his utmost during his tenure to uphold democracy and defend the territorial integrity of the nation.

Also present at the occasion were the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Lateef Ibirogba; his Transportation counterpart, Mr. Kayode Opeifa and the Special Adviser to the Governor on Security, Major Tunde Panox (Rtd) while the Chief of Army Staff was accompanied by other top Military officers including, Major-General Patrick Akeu, Major-General Letam Wiwa, Major-General  Abayomi Olonisakin, Major-General Temi Dibi, Colonel Solomon Udounwa, Lt. Col. A.M. Inuwa and Lt. Col. S.M. Uba.

Lagos Extends Maternity Leave Of Female Employees To Six Months

Lagos Maternity briefingAs a way to encourage good parenting among its workforce, the Lagos State Government on Thursday extended the maternity leave of its female employees by three months bringing it to a total of six months, to enable them give the required attention to their new born babies in their first few months of life.

The policy which is in line with the State’s policy of exclusive breast feeding for the first six months of a baby’s life, would enable mothers take proper care of their babies and recoup well from the stress of child birth before resuming work “so that both the mother and the child would have been strong enough to withstand the expected temporary separations that would be witnessed when the mother goes back to work.”

Also, and for the first time in the country, the Government has granted a 10- Working Days Paternity Leave for male employees who may want to join their wives to achieve good parenting. However, both the extension of maternity and the 10-day paternity leaves would apply only for the first two births of the couple after which the female employees revert to the old three months while the male employee ceases to enjoy such privilege.

Briefing newsmen at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, Alausa, on the new policy recently approved by the State Executive Council, the Head of Service, Mrs Josephine Oluseyi Williams, said that the review of the leave policy was informed by Government’s conviction that the inability of parents to adequately fulfil their parental role due to extensive work life account for some social ills in the society.

The Head of Service said that chief among the consequences of extensive work life of career officers in the Public Service was the reduced attention by such parents to the basic developmental needs of their infants especially during the first six months, adding that Medical Science has proved that the first few months of a child’s life play a very great role in the physical, mental and emotional development of the child.

The new leave gesture by Government, she said, was further informed by the fact that nursing mothers leave their children in the hands of day-care nannies at such  tender age of six weeks adding that the level of concentration of such a nursing mother at her desk would be nothing to write home about.

“However, at six months (24 weeks), a baby is considered strong enough to be left in a decent crèche for proper care, having gone through close affection and nurturing by the mother for those very important and delicate first few months of his/her life”, she said.

Urging all nursing parent-employees in the State Public Service to utilize the privilege to devote fuller attention to their children “thereby promoting emotional bonding between them and their children when it matters most”, the HOS enjoined them to remain dedicated and productive in their various beats and schedules.

She appealed to other employers of labour in the State to emulate the gesture of the State Government “in order to advance a balanced family work life with the ultimate intent of having future leaders who, as neonates, had enjoyed parental care and affection”.

Earlier, in his remarks, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Lateef Ibirogba, said that the intention of the State Government was to build  a dedicated workforce that would not only contribute meaningfully to the development of the State but would also be responsive to their family and domestic responsibilities.

Also present at the occasion were the Special Adviser on Public Health, Dr Yewande Adeshina; Permanent Secretary, Public Service Commission, Mr Lekan Akodu; his Ministry of Health and Establishment, Training and Pension counterparts, Dr Omodele Oshunkiyesi and Mrs Shade Jaji respectively and Special Adviser to the Governor on Media, Mr Hakeem Bello.

Unknown Traffic Controllers Invade Lagos

LASTMA officialsPolice in Lagos have intercepted a group of people posing as traffic officials on Lagos roads.

According to a statement by the Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Lateef Ibirogba, the group, numbering about 35, dressed in grey and black uniforms, stormed Lagos roads like Ojota, Toll Gate and Ikorodu Road at about 7a.m., causing confusion on the roads in their attempt to take over the job of LASTMA.

The statement read: “The unknown people, whose intention could not be easily ascertained, were seen positioned in strategic locations where they engaged LASTMA officials who challenged them in arguments, claiming that they were sent to take over Federal Roads.

“They took Lagosians by surprise and instilled fear in a lot of people who were going to their offices early, as many could not explain their mission in the areas noted for being peaceful and hitch-free.”

Ibirogba further revealed that it took the intervention of the Police from the Lagos Command, to get them off the road and return normalcy on the roads after about four hours of causing confusion, attempting to fight LASTMA and generally disturbing the peace of the areas.

In view of this, the Lagos State Government has appealed to the public to remain calm and go about their normal duties, no matter any form of provocation or intimidation.

The Government also asked Lagos residents to be more security conscious and report cases of strange movements to the Police, making use of the emergency numbers – 767 or 121 to abate or avert trouble.

Lagos Govt. Denies Non-Payment Of Former Deputy Governor’s Entitlements

Kofoworola Bucknor-AkereleThe Lagos State Government, on Friday debunked an allegation credited to a former Deputy Governor of the State, Mrs. Kofoworola Bucknor-Akerele that her entitlements were still being withheld, describing the allegation as incorrect and misleading.

In the allegation said to have been published in a Nigerian newspaper on Friday, February 28, the former Deputy Governor was quoted as saying, “As a former Deputy Governor of Lagos State, all my entitlements have never been given to me.”

However, in a statement signed by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Lateef Ibirogba, the Government stated that all the pension entitlements due to Mrs. Kofoworola Bucknor-Akerele had been fully paid and were being met as and when due on a monthly basis.

The Commissioner explained that the Government was compelled to react to the former Deputy Governor’s statement simply to set the records straight in the interest of the state and posterity.

According to the Commissioner, one Toyota Prado Jeep and one Pickup truck were recently delivered to the former Deputy Governor as part of her entitlement.

He, however, pointed out that the area of contention with the former Deputy Governor was her insistence on the monetization of services rendered by personal staff employed by her, among other demands.

According to him, the Deputy Governor’s demand for another set of vehicles as backup and replacement of all the vehicles every three years, “notwithstanding the current means of Government”, was unacceptable.

He described the rejoinder as a means “to set the records straight”, adding, “As outstanding issues are currently before a court of law, we are unable to comment further”.

Fashola Calls For State Police To Protect Vulnerable Citizens

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, on Wednesday re-emphasized the need for State Police in the country, arguing that the venture would be justifiable if they were used for the protection of women and children.

Governor Fashola, made this call at the 12th Anniversary of Ms Funmi Iyanda’s Change-A-Life Programme at the Nigerian Television Authority Network Centre, Victoria Island on January 1.

He pointed out that what is lacking in giving adequate protection to vulnerable members of the society was the capacity to enforce the law, adding that the Police, who are engrossed with the task of fighting kidnappers and other violent crimes, would have no time to engage in the processes of enforcing the law on domestic violence.

He said, “if we really want to protect women, we must look again at the prospect of State Police because even if it is the only responsibility we give them, protection of women and dealing with domestic violence, and leave the Federal Police to deal with all the other violent crimes that we have mentioned, it would be a huge step forward”.

Governor Fashola said although Lagos State has made laws against domestic violence and criminalized certain acts in the administration of Criminal Justice Law in the State, with laws now against the abuse of children, the problem remained in the enforcement of the laws.

“One of the responsibilities that the Police have in the law protecting women against domestic violence is to file a complaint on behalf of the victim before a court and to seek restraining order against the respondent who is the aggressor. But how many of those cases really come up to the court”, he said.

Pointing out that it is only the reported cases that Government could deal with, the Governor paid glowing tribute to the Deputy Governor, Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, who supervises the Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation and the Director-General of the Office of the Public Defender, as well as the volunteer lawyers who work in the Office of the Public Defender “for the selfless work that they have done”.

He said: “It is when the citizens are safe that you feel free to embark on capital intensive development, providing Education and other opportunities for them to find their way in life; the real empowerment of people and looking after their welfare. From there we go on to growing the economy, Power, Agriculture, Transportation, and Housing; and in that way and from it we create a large theatre of opportunities where people can find their way.”

He continued, “I think the opportunity to make a better choice in 2014 is heavy on us, it favours us. The difference between success and failure, for me, is how people react to opportunities. This is the season that offers us the opportunity to do so many good things. But they would happen if we make the choices, seize the opportunity to revalue hard work, to revalue knowledge, revalue the dignity of life, and put appropriate value on our common humanity and to place less value on those things that have taken our focus away from things that are important”.

Maintaining that the Year 2014 would be a better year, Governor Fashola, declared, “But it will not happen by mere wishes. It will happen by making very clear choices individually and collectively…if we unite our minds to the kind of values that we want and unite our minds to achieving those value choices, it will surely happen”.

Highlight of the programme was the presentation of the Remi Lagos Award of Academic Excellence to two most outstanding students of Funmi Iyanda’s Change-A-Life Foundation, Miss Olatunji Fumilayo and Miss Umoh Victoria Uwana.

Also present at the occasion were, Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Lateef Ibirogba, the Executive Director of the Foundation, Mrs Jumoke Giwa, guests like Mrs. Susan Eyo-Honest, Board members, beneficiaries of the Foundation and their parents, among others.