The management of Massey Street Children Hospital, Lagos Island, has restated its commitment to reducing avoidable deaths amongst children in the State, through improved healthcare delivery and effective collaboration with stakeholders, especially at the grassroots.

Speaking at a stakeholders' forum organised by the hospital on Tuesday, the Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, who was represented by Mrs. Joan Yetunde Oluyemi of the Service Improvement Directorate, acknowledged the roles being played by the hospital in quality healthcare delivery over the past decades.

He said that the stakeholder-session is in line with the policy directive of the State Government to involve Lagosians in the local communities on existing and newly introduced policies within the healthcare sector for residents to embrace such initiatives.

Earlier in her welcome address, the Medical Director of the Hospital, Dr. Abimbola Mabogunje, said that the hospital and other children specialist hospitals across the country are making efforts to address the infant mortality rate in Nigeria, which is presently 74.2/1000 live births, maintaining that the involvement of mothers, guardians and other stakeholders in the local community will drastically reduce the high mortality rate.

Dr. Mabogunje, however, identified poor antenatal care and delay in seeking medical care as some of the reasons for the high rate of child mortality in the country, stressing that feedback from members of the public could also help healthcare providers in improving on healthcare delivery.

"We recognise the need to collaborate with you all to find ways to reduce these needless deaths, through education of caregivers and accessing healthcare early, as better health-seeking behaviour and avoidance of harmful practices are being imbibed by all. We are also constantly training and retraining all cadres of healthcare personnel, so that we are up-to-date on current global best practices,” she said.

Commending Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for improving the health sector in Lagos State for effective and efficient service delivery, the Medical Director acknowledged that massive recruitments, training and upgrading of various hospitals have been undertaken by the present administration.

In her remarks, the Service Delivery Director, Massey Children Hospital, Pharmacist Solape Adenuga, stated that the forum was designed to have a regular platform for mutual exchange of ideas and suggestions on how the hospital can improve on its services and evolve more ways to collaborate with all stakeholders.

She said that the hospital decided to key into the Service Charter, which was initiated to provide quality healthcare to all residents of Lagos State, in order to complement its mission of delivering qualitative, affordable and equitable healthcare to residents through the application of appropriate technology by highly motivated staff.

Recall that Massey Street Children Hospital (MSCH) is a State Government-owned children referral hospital, which has a significant heritage as the birthplace of many prominent Lagosians. The hospital trained the first indigenous paediatricians in Nigeria and has been providing child services for over 50 years.