At a time when economic resources are dwindling, saving lives in emergency situations has become an herculean task which Health Emergency Initiative (HEI) is determined to tackle headlong.
Speaking at its annual Walk for Life: Make an Impact, the Executive Director, Pascal Achunine told Healthstyleplus, “the heart for compassion for those in distress and in dire need”, has been the major driving passion for members of HEI who have been donating to the cause of indigent patients and accident emergencies.
” The HEI is a response to the horrible situation we found in our social space. Many people die because of inability to afford paltry sums of money for their health needs sometimes as little as N5000″, Achunine told our Correspondent.
Sharing his experience Achunine said, “I have been to a hospital where a patient had for three days been unattended to because he could not afford N72, 500 for treatment”:.
HEI has been working with about 23 public hospitals in Lagos. 350 cases have been successfully supported in the last three years and 50 accident victims helped in the last one year, the HEI boss said.
“The hospitals where HEI has been partnering to support indigent and accidents victims at least in the first critical hours of need include National Orthopedic Hospital Igbobi, Lagos (NOHI), Federal Medical Centre, (FMC) Ebute Meta, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) and Lagos University Teaching Hospital ( LUTH).
Others are General Hospital, Gbagada, General Hospital Somolu, Mushin General Hospital, Randle General Hospital, Ajromi, Igando General Hospital, Ikorodu (11) and others where the Initiative has built trust in the last three years.
Lending support to the cause, Lagos State Sector Commandant, Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Hyginus Omeje described the as “pathetic” situations whereby road crash victims are sometimes turned back at government hospitals because of claims that such cases need to deposit some money for care.
“I have personally had to lead my men to a hospital where an accident case was rejected and we had to dump the case threatening to invite the media before the case was accepted”, said omeje.
He lauded the HEI efforts at saving lives in emergency situations saying, ” I had to be involved and lead by example to encourage other Nigerians to show humanitarian hearts by donating to help save lives in emergency situations”, said Omeje.
On the theme: “None Should Die” Omeje said, “If it was possible that everyone donate at least N500 ahead of time, a pool of such could come in handy at every moment it is needed to save a life adding accidents can occur at anytime when it is least expected”.
The Director Lagos State Ambulance Services (LASAMBUS) Dr. Olusegun Kola-Korodo equally applauded the initiative adding, ” a lot of times when accidents victims are taken to public hospitals’ Accidents and Emergencies (A&E) they meet with the challenge of slow to response because in our environment it is primarily due to funds.
” This is because everything you need to access from the hospital is paid for, Laboratory services, pharmaceuticals, and so on. The major issue has to do with out of pocket funding”, said Kola-Korodo.
He noted that what HEI is doing, the partnership with the Lagos State Ministry of Health, LSMoH, LASAMBUS, FRSC and others is to ensure that patients who come in and are vulnerable get access to care”.
Although Lagos State has a policy wherein accident victims brought into emergency wards receive care for the first 24hrs free, but there really has been a challenge to that.
“When something becomes free for the first 24hrs and you have incidents day in, day out, there is bound to be backlog. What HEI has come in to do is to ease the backlog”, said Kola-Korodo.