The newly N6bn upgraded Ayinke House, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital complex, has become Nigeria’s largest Baby Factory overtaking 59-year old Lagos Island Maternity.
Up till the commissioning of the Upgraded Ayinke House, the Island Maternity was the largest baby factory in the country and at its 50th anniversary in 2010, there was a planned upgrading from 150 beds to 215 bed space.
Now known as Institute of Maternal and Child Health (Ayinke House), the facility was commissioned on Wednesday, April 24 2019 by President Muhammadu Buhari during his one-day working visit to Lagos.
The hi-tech Ayinke House now boasts of 170 bed space, two Obstetric Operation Theatres, two Gynaecology Operation Theatres, 8 Labour/Delivery Suites, and side Laboratory also has special care unit with 30 incubators 28-bed posts natal ward and five Transport Incubators with Oxygen delivery system among others.
Ayinke House was upgraded from an initial 120-bed space maternity built by Late Chief Mobolaji Bank-Anthony in 1990 in honour of his mother, Madam Ayinke and donated to Lagos State Government.
However, prior to its closure in 2012 for remodeling and upgrading by the administration of Mr. Babatunde Fashola, then Governor, the facility utilised only 80 of the 120 bed-capacity.
Speaking at the commissioning, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode noted, “beyond the significance of the facility for the health sector, the institute is a major contribution to our education sector also; as it becomes a veritable platform for our medical students in the State University to enhance their exposure and experience with the top class medical equipment provided”.
Chief Medical Director (CMD) of Lagos University Teaching Hospital, (LASUTH), Professor Adetokunbo Fabamwo who was the last Medical Director of the old Ayinke House, described the event as “historical” saying, “I was one of the three Consultants that worked at the start of the Old Ayinke House when it was commissioned on April 4, 1990, I am excited”.
He said ahead of the upgrade of the centre, a total of 250 staff were recruited and trained and waiting to resume work at the new 2-storey building edifice which has another 5- storey Administrative block attached to it.
What makes the newly upgraded Ayinke House a critical maternal and child facility in Nigeria is the fact that Lagos has an estimated bursting population of about 21m according to the 2016 Census and a high maternal death ratio of 450 per 100,000 as well as newborn death ratio of 37 per 1000 by the 2013 National Health and Demographic Survey (NDHS).
The State therefore has a burden of 24% of the country’s estimated maternal deaths put at about 800 women dying in every 100,000 live births giving about 58, 000 annual deaths according to a joint report (Trends in Maternal Mortality: 1990 to 2015 by WHO, UNICEF, World Bank and United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA).
Similarly, the maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) Scorecard of the Lagos State Accountability Mechanism for maternal and Newborn Health (LASAM, January – June 2018) showed that one of the indices for poor outcomes among pregnant women in Lagos is the fact that many women do not deliver in facility but only go for postnatal while only 44% of pregnant women commence antenatal visits in their first 20 weeks of pregnancy.
To support deliveries at the newly upgraded Ayinke House, a total of 21 Consultant Obstetrician and Gynecologists, 45 Resident doctors, 5 Neonatologists, 10 Resident Pediatricians, 2 Anesthetists among others have been recruited to work at the new Maternity.
Commissioner for Health Dr. Jide Idris described the facility as the highest level of care for maternal and child health in Lagos.
He said with 5 theatres dedicated to Gynecological, Obstetrics as well as neonatal surgeries, a lot pregnancy related deaths as well as neonatal deaths can now be averted in the State.
According to him,”A lot of our pregnant women die because of surgical needs but we can address these here now and for the neonates we have neonatal intensive care for babies requiring serious intensive care and about thirty of these units are available.
He said government sometime ago developed a policy to tackle the unacceptably high maternal and newborn deaths in the state and with the establishment of the Institute of Maternal and Child Health, the state is moving in the right direction.
The Commissioner however said the new facility will be strictly a referral Centre as its is already streamlining its State Health System to follow the due process of referral from Primary Healthcare cases which cannot be handled to Secondary level while the Ayinke House would take only referral cases from General Hospitals using the newly launched State Health Insurance Scheme.