Mentoring children on Oral Health: Oral-B Takes the Lead

Dear friends and visitors, today is Tuesday and we focus on Social Works Watch™ (SW2), which is our attempt to promote relevant social works, which are critical to the core purposes of this blog.

Join us today as we share with you a recent event spearheaded by Oral-B and culled from http://dailyindependentnig.com. We look forward to your comments.

In line with the celebration of the World Oral Health Day (WOHD), Nigerian children have been advised to take good care of their health particularly the issue of oral well being.

The World Oral Health Day was celebrated on Wednesday, March 20, 2013. As part of activities to commemorate the day, organisations, companies as well as brands that major in oral products organised oral health events for school children across Lagos State where they were enlightened on the importance of good oral care. Consequently, Lagos world record tooth-brushing challenge was also flagged off at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere to mark the day.

While promoting oral health in the country especially among the young generation, Oral-B, a brand of toothpaste, took the campaign to the pupils of Chrisland Primary School, Ikeja.

Speaking at the event, Brand Operations Integration Leader of Procter and Gamble (P&G), Mrs. Mokutima Ajileye said, the company which is a key stakeholder on oral care worldwide invests billions of dollars in research and development annually in order to innovate and produce world class products that meet the needs and budgets of her consumers.

She explained that the eight areas that people usually have problems which need dentists’ check include cavities, gum problems, plaque, sensitivity, enamel erosion, tartar, staining and bad breath.

“Oral-B is committed to providing oral health education to Nigerians not just today on WOHD but always. Oral health is at the core of our brand purpose and this can be seen in the superior protective quality of Oral-B and through the free services we provide with the Oral-B mobile dental clinic program.”

According to her, “At Procter and Gamble our aim is to touch and improve the lives of consumers with all our products. Oral-B furthers this goal by raising awareness about oral hygiene by giving education on the importance on good oral practices and disease prevention. “

Celebrity artist and dentist, Dr Sidney Esiri popularly known as (Sid) encouraged the children to take their oral hygiene seriously, saying, “You have to learn good oral hygiene habits early so that you can protect your teeth.”

At the climax of the programme, the students were taught the proper way to brush their mouths. There were also dental presentations given to the students by members of the Nigerian Dental Association, after which each child received a dental check at the Oral B Mobile Dental Clinic.

We at Taiwo Akinlami INSPIRES stands for developing a complete child. By this we mean a child, who is development spirit, soul and body. We see the program reported above to see a step in that direction. We welcome your comments.

Thank you for visiting today…We invite you to Think the Child…Think Today…Think the Future…

NOTICE:
Our Child Protection Audio Library Comprising of 5 Audio CDs and 4 Handbooks are available for order and immediate delivery depending on your location. They are well-researched and widely-applauded materials, carefully and meticulously designed to bring to your CONSCIOUSNESS and CONSCIENCE the RIGHTS and RESPONSIBILITIES of your children and EQUIP you with the INDISPENSABLE SKILLS to do all things in the BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILD. Be on the side of your child Today…Be on the Side of the Future…Place Your Order NOW! @ 234-8186830275(SMS Only) or send an email, titled: ORDER to ask@taiwoakinlami.com. Thank you and Stay INSPIRED.

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VISION OF THE CHILD (VOTC):DIAMOND BANK PLEDGES CONTINUOUS SUPPORT FOR THE NIGERIAN CHILD

Welcome to Social Works Watch™ (SW2). Today, we bring you a story on The Vision of the Child Arts Exhibition. It is sponsored by Diamond Bank and this story is culled from www.diamondbank.com. Please visit www.votc.lagosblackheritagefestival.com for more reading.

We publish this today because it is in conformity with the goal of Social Works Watch™ (SW2), which is to report genuine social works, with a view to encouraging the members of our society to free themselves from the rat race of the Third World and find creative ways to give back to society. The message is that we must on daily basis seek how to be our brothers’ keepers. The book that I read says, ‘it is more blessed to give than to receive.’ I hope this story will inspire you to give back to society. I invite you today to read and comment.

Diamond Bank Plc, a leading commercial bank in Nigeria has said it would continue to invest in the people of Nigeria, particularly children.

Mr. Uzoma Dozie, Executive Director, Lagos and West Businesses of the bank stated this on Tuesday at the unveiling of the theme for this year’s Vision of The Child (VOTC) painting competition solely sponsored by the bank. The competition is one of the highlights of the Lagos Black Heritage Festival (LBHF) which comes up later this year.

Said Mr. Dozie: Our goal as a bank is not only about making profits, we believe that for us to thrive we need to invest in the future and this is our key area of strength.

Describing the programme as unique, Mr. Dozie said the programme which was also sponsored by the bank last year, promises to bring together under one roof “children who are willing to exhibit their artistic talents,” adding that the people of Lagos are set for a display of talents at the competition.
Speaking on the competition, the Executive Secretary of the Vision of The Child (VOTC), Ms. Foluke Michael said this year’s event which is in collaboration with the Ministry of Education would see over 500 pupils from over 2,000 schools across the six education districts compete in the competition.

Though entry for the competition closes on February 8, 2013, the selection process she said would begin on February 16, where 30 finalists would be screened. The finalists would later paint the theme of this year’s VOTC competition before a live crowd and the winner would be announced on March 29, 2013.

Ms. Michael said the competition is open to primary and secondary schools pupils as well as those outside formal school environment whose ages range between the ages of eight and 12 years.

She praised the leadership of the Badagry Local Government Area for picking 50 entry forms, even as she said more schools and councils in the state could sponsor pupils for the competition.

LBHF Ambassador Erelu Abiola Dosumu who read the Festival’s Consultant Prof. Wole Soyinka’s speech said the competition was designed to bring out the best in the Nigerian child.

In his words, “The competition is out to challenge the children’s creativity early in life and provide an outlet for those observations and feelings, for which they sometimes seek the means of expression.”

Erelu Dosumu and Diamond Bank’s Head of Corporate Communications, Mrs Ayona Trimnell later unveiled the theme of this year’s competition which is, ‘The Thousand and One Faces of Corruption’, which Soyinka said had been deposited at the bank since July 25 last year.

Erelu Dosumu implored the children to use the four weeks before the painting competition to think about the theme and come up with an appropriate painting to interprete the theme.

Youth in Social Enterprise: Microsoft partners with LEAP Africa

Youth in Social Enterprise: Microsoft partners with LEAP Africa

Happy Tuesday friends, sure we are doing well today. Welcome Social Works Watch™ (SW2) today. As you know this is the platform where we report and analyse social work activities for the purpose of meaningful engaging members of the society and encouraging them to be their brothers’ keepers in truth and indeed.

It is our irresistible conclusion that the greatest MIRACLE a man can experience on the earth is to take a decision to be of a GENUINE SERVICE to HUMANITY, BEGINNING from his FAMILY, overcoming the LURES of the EXCEEDING WICKEDNESS of the heart of man to SEEK his own GAINS. I call this the EVER-PRESENT TEMPTATION of SELFISHNESS that has HELD the MAJORITY of our WORLD ENSLAVED to the WELL-BEING of their BELLIES and PERSONAL COMFORT.’ This is the ideal we seek to promote with Social Works Watch™ (SW2).

Today we share with you a brief story written by Kehinde Ayeni of Communication and External Affairs of LEAP Africa, and few pictures from Youth in Social Enterprise Conference, which was powered by Microsoft in partnership with LEAP Africa and held on March 9, 2013.

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Microsoft partnered with LEAP Africa to hold Youth in Social Enterprise Conference on March 9, 2013.

The conference which held to mark NGO Day themed “Social Entrepreneurship: A rising trend in Africa” brought together a group of young social entrepreneurs and aspiring social entrepreneurs to discuss the challenges and opportunities in the evolving trend.

There was a panel of discussants which included,  Nnaemeka Ikegwuonu Smallholders Foundation, Ore Somolu; CEO W-Tech, Rachel Sonubi, Lanre Messan, Katja Nwator- Tony Elumelu Foundation.  Also at the conference were Tolu Sangosanya, LOTS Foundation, Debola Williams; CO-founder Redstract Communications, Segun Shetan and Omotanwa Sulaiman, Founder Erin Magazine. These individuals  shared their personal experiences with participants at the conference and had an avenue to exchange ideas with all youth present.

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Through the group breakout session led by Oje Ivagba , Director Programmes at LEAP Africa, these young social entrepreneurs evaluated existing project ideas of group members with a view to learning and suggesting further ideas that can help sprout youth social enterprises.

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The participants were richly inspired by the panel and excited about the expose on possibilities of utilising Microsoft tools in support of social good.

It is our opinion at Social Works Watch™ (SW2) that the social, economic and political future of Africa is in the hands of young people, who will arise in every area of human endeavour, take a decision to swim against the tide of selfish acquisition of wealth and survival mentality, which permeate the continent of Africa today and provide leadership in thinking and acting beyond their personal interest. This we believe conferences like this seeks to achieve.

We thank you today for visiting. We look forward to receiving your comments. We also welcome reports of credible social works from you.

Do have an INSPIRED Week.

2348033620843 ask@taiwoakinlami.com www.taiwoakinlami.com

 

 

The A Case for SOLE: Rebirth of Learning Starts With Mindset by Julia Li

Today on the Social Works Watch™ (SW2) page of this blog, I share with you dear friends a piece, I found very interesting, motivating and challenging. It is a piece on SOLE (self-organized learning environment), written by Julia Li, who founded HCD Global education group in 2001 on the promise to close professional skill gaps in China at a time when corporations are most in need of impeccably trained leaders. I culled the article from http://www.huffingtonpost.com

I was in Tanzania in the last week and one of the things that stuck to me in a conference I was part was the words of Albert Einstein that ‘education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.’ I think this is very instructive. This stuck to me because I have continued to ask question about the type of education our children are exposed to today and the veracity of same to prepare them for a meaning future in a world, which is becoming more complex by the day. This is why I find this piece interesting and I feel I should share with you. Please enjoy it:

Professor Sugata Mitra didn’t invent student-driven learning. But he is championing field research and a compelling case that there has never been a time in history when the SOLE (self-organized learning environment) model is so vital to children’s learning. Self-organized learning complements traditional education systems. In fact, self-guided learning is already gaining traction in pockets around the world, including in Armenia where teenagers are leading their own structured learning projects and field studies thanks to Internet-connected after-school programs, and a slightly younger generation of mentors playing the role of Professor Mitra’s “granny network.” The program in Armenia and other places around the world prioritizes curiosity and skills acquisition, not assessment.

I deeply admire Dr. Sugata’s work, his structured approach to SOLE, and his willingness to turn research into results with the support of TED. We have enough academic dissertations about the future of learning when action is what is most needed. Hopefully now child-driven, self-guided learning will gain serious attention from the general public and resources to begin the learning system revolution in earnest — one that will prepare a new generation of minds to collaborate, problem-solve and succeed in the fast moving New Machine age.

China’s leader Chairman Mao once said “a single spark can combust into a mighty flame (星星之火,可以燎原).” Sugata’s talk lit a flame at TED ’13, perhaps creating a wild fire that leads to the reinvention of the world’s education system. With the right attention from government policy makers, business leaders, and most importantly, parents, the dawn of student-driven learning may be upon us.

You see, the flaw in our education system is not only limited to learning among children, but in fact, extends to across age groups, from young professionals to retirees. The fundamental questions we must ask ourselves are these: When is the student a better teacher, and the teacher a better student? What is important to learn and why? How do we learn and who should take responsibility for setting up these systems?

For example, we assume adults should educate children, but perhaps it’s time to give children some authority, and even official recognition to teach adults, particularly in areas of the Internet, science, arts and other subjects.

And retirees could be brought into a new kind of education system to mentor children to teach themselves, modeling optimism, endurance, and patience. From a technology standpoint, I see a future where new learning formats leverage gaming and cloud-based competition to help children create their own experiential learning journeys, connected to their peers around the world.

Professor Mitra’s SOLE model is not the ultimate solution to our children’s learning needs, but it sets a clear direction for us to rethink our education system and redefine the concept of education itself.  n Chinese, education is 教育 which directly translated means “Teach and Foster”; however, learning is 学习 which directly translated is “learn and repeat practicing.”  I appreciate the ancient wisdom here.

Our school systems have been focused on teaching knowledge and skills, but not on fostering important behavioral qualities that allow learning such as attitude, mindset, receptivity to new ideas and persistence. Who should be responsible for this part of education?  Ideally this should be the parent’s responsibility. The question is: Who is giving parents that knowledge?

The SOLE model might not be the best way to equip our children with mindset qualities that allow “repeat practicing” which requires patience and focus. This is particularly important today with kids’ attention spans becoming shorter (due to a variety of factors in our modern, highly stimulated society).

If we see a learned person as the result of our education system, children become the “customer” and teachers become the “providers” of this business we call education. Logically, the process is then structured to maximize the ability of the customer to acquire new skills, which naturally would then embrace self-organized learning concepts. We need tomorrow’s education system to become an ecosystem where the role of student and teacher is continually redefined depending on the situation and learning need. This too is a mindset change. Are we ready?

With the 2013 TED Prize going toward igniting a student-directed learning movement, I believe impact extends from existing school systems, especially in poor regions where access to high-quality learning is in short supply, to online learning environments where the cloud is the classroom. We should consider SOLE an addition to existing education, at least in the short term, as we reinvent the best learning experiences and observe results.

For SOLE to work, an unprecedented level of collaboration is required from educational content publishers, technology companies, teachers, parents, governments, and business. We need to ready ourselves for the baton to be passed from Professor Mitra to leaders in learning everywhere who have the influence and experience to architect education for the New Machine age. The question is who will lead this revolution? Perhaps our children will!

TED and The Huffington Post invite you to take the SOLE Challenge, a unique contest in which we’re asking teachers and parents to create child-centered learning labs in their homes and schools. Write an 800 to 1,000 word blog post on your experiences and send it to tedweekends@huffingtonpost.com. Three winning submissions will get to attend TED Youth 2013.

Thank you for reading, I await your responses and do have an INSPIRED day.

http://www.taiwoakinlami.com 2348033620843

MY SAD ENCOUNTER AT GBAGADA GENERAL HOSPITAL LAGOS

Welcome to Social Works Watch™ (SW2) this week. We were due to be with you yesterday, but we were thwarted by many unforeseen circumstances. We are here today and I believe it is better late than never.

Today, I have a guest, who is here to share with us her experience at Gbagada General Hospital. Welcome with me today Ms. Lillian Njoku:

On 25th January 2013, my pregnant sister, called me at about 3:55pm. She was frantic on the phone and she wanted me to proceed home immediately. I rushed to the house. On sighting me, she said to me, “I am seeing blood” Blood! I was disturbed. I know about water breaking when a woman is due for delivery but I have not heard of blood before that day. I believe also that in most cases blood is attributed to miscarriage. I however felt that her due date being few days a away, the pregnancy was too advance to be lost. I did not have too much time to debate all these in my mind, as I do here now, I needed to get her to safety. I needed speed. There was no other place to go except Gbagada General Hospital where she registered and has been attending her antenatal faithfully. We proceeded there pronto.

We got to the hospital, the nurse/matron confirmed it was labour and asked me to get her things in preparation for the arrival of the baby. She was admitted into the ward, placed on drip. The next morning, I asked the doctors what was happening as she was not having any contraction. They assured me there was no problem. They further informed me that “labour happens in stages.” Believing, my sister was in the safe hands of professionals, I decided to rest pn their counsel.

Sunday was third day since my sister was admitted into the hospital, yet she was not having any form of contraction. But it was business as usual on the side of the doctors. They kept prescribing drugs for us to buy.  

The fourth day, Monday, we discussed our concerns with the doctors who have be coming and going in turns.  Our concern was that there was no new development in my sister’s case. It was not obvious she was in labour. All that the doctors had to say was that they were waiting for the water to break. Later that day the water broke; there was still no contraction. At this point my sister became very concerned and expressed same to the doctor on duty. To the foregoing concern, the doctor responded, ‘no problem another water will still break. Madam you are not ready when you are, nobody will tell you.’ Though, the doctor’s advice sounded comforting, I was in no way comfortable. In fact, I was completely uncomfortable with what I considered to be the nonchalant attitude of the medical personnel at the hospital. This kind of attitude, I believe was not in conformity with the general information we got that Gbagada General Hospital was a better place for delivery of babies when we made an enquiry as to what hospital to register my sister for antenatal.

Early hours of Tuesday, which was the fifth day, another water broke, yet there was no contraction. At this point we were all wondering why no contraction. From our layman perspective, we wondered why the doctors are not considering opening her up to bring out the baby.  

Her husband was worried as well and expressed same to the doctors. To my amazement, observation and suggestion irritate the doctors. They would ask egoistically, “are you the one to tell us what to do?” Then at about 10am on Tuesday, the fifth day, the female doctor on duty asked her to enter the delivery room and assured her that the baby must come out today. At this point, my sister raised an alarm that she was not feeling the baby’s movement as strong as she used to. Yet they did not pay attention to her observation. It was shocking that this critical observation would not alter their course of action.

My sister was later taken to the delivery room, where she was abandoned for a while. Another thing that shocked me was that there was not coordination in the doctors’ discharge of their responsibilities. They were in short, not working as a team, seeking to achieve a common goal or set of goals. For example, when my sister lied idly unattended to in the delivery room, one doctor would come in and asked what she was doing in the delivery room and instructed her to go back to the general ward as she was not ready to deliver. Another one would come with a different instruction entirely, asking her to stay in the labour room.  We were worried about my sister and the level of confusion, which was palpable in the air.

Towards the afternoon on the fifth day, they decided to induce her. She went into forced labour which lasted for about four hours. That did not work and the time was about 4PM. At that point, they now decided to go for a Caesarean section.

For reasons unknown to us, it took another, 6 hours before the Caesarean section operation was carried out. When the baby was brought out, his heart was beating but no breath as a result of stress from prolonged labour. The pediatrician who tried to save the baby asked, “for how long was this woman in labour?” When she was told that she was in labour for 5 days and few hours, she was palpably in shock. Same was the reaction of a matron, who rushed out and asked same question.

All they did to save the baby was in vain as his heart finally stopped beating latter. Then the gynecologist assigned to my sister walked pass us without a word and went down to his ward to sleep. It was the pediatrician and the matron that came to inform us about the death of the baby and expressed their sympathy.

Back at the ward, I raised my voice and challenged the nurses to explain what happened to the child. To my challenge, the nurses replied, without an iota of remorse, “don’t start what you cannot finish.” The insensitive reaction of the nurses angered me, yet, I felt helpless.  Nobody volunteered to explain to us what happened and why. It took insistence from me and my brother-in-law for one female doctor to try explaining that they did not know why things turned out the way it did. I don’t like it when people try to mystify their obvious negligence. Anyway it took the intervention of the female doctor upon the insistence of my brother-in-law to get the gynecologist assigned to my siste to wake up from sleep and make his own attempt to answer our questions. All he kept on saying was that he was sorry. They asked us to find comfort in the other kids and trust God to bring another one.

I welcome you comments on this story. Thank you and have an INSPIRED Day.

NOTICE:
Our Child Protection Audio Library Comprising of 5 Audio CDs and 4 Handbooks are available for order and immediate delivery depending on your location. They are well-researched and widely-applauded materials, carefully and meticulously designed to bring to your CONSCIOUSNESS and CONSCIENCE the RIGHTS and RESPONSIBILITIES of your children and EQUIP you with the INDISPENSABLE SKILLS to do all things in the BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILD. Be on the side of your child Today…Be on the Side of the Future…Place Your Order NOW! @ 234-8186830275(SMS Only) or send an email, titled: ORDER to ask@taiwoakinlami.com. Thank you and Stay INSPIRED

Between Ownership and Stewardship: Sharing An Awesomely Inspiring Story of Selfless Service to Humanity

Welcome to Social Works Watch™ (SW2) this week. Sure your week is going on well. I must thank you for the warm reception you gave to this segment of my blog.

This week, I will take a short break from the story I began last week: ‘MATERNITY PRACTICES IN GOVERNMENT HOSPITALS IN LAGOS STATE.’  I will like to share with you an awesomely inspiring story of a man, who decided to be his brother’s keep in an unusual manner.

It is an unusual story of Personal Social Responsibility. It is my well-considered opinion that the best of our society will come forth when we replace ownership of private property with stewardship of private property. Ownership of private property insists that the husbandman must be the first and preferential partaker of the harvest of his farm. Stewardship says, the husbandman may be the first partaker but may not necessarily be the lion partaker of his harvest. Therefore while ownership thinks ‘winner takes all,’ stewardship thinks trusteeship. Stewardship concludes that whatever he has in his possession is held in trust to the community and must be judiciously distributed. The lion share in stewardship does not necessarily go to the custodian. It goes to any one in the community, who may needs it more.

I agree with the recent submission of Dr Myles Monroe that the source of poverty in the word today is the spirit of ownership. Ghandi saw it many years ago and he said, ‘nature has enough to satisfy everyone’s need but has not enough to satisfy man’s greed.’ The number one evidence of greed is hording, which means to keep to yourself something you do not need, which will make all the difference for others. Many today have stolen from nature and kept in their vault what belongs to many. The greed of men is the reason for poverty. Ghandi also said, ‘there are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.’ The irony is that this bread is not with God. It has been released to fellow human beings, who are hoarding same.

It is difficult for us to think of stewardship in the Third World, particularly Africa, where survival is the name of the game of daily living.  Our survival mentality has made our societies modern jungles, where on the fittest survives. We have all the paraphernalia of civilization; yet we lack the characteristics and  the social pillars of civilized states. The anthem of the jungle is, ‘everyone for himself and God for us all.’ There is no society that can survive and maximize its collective potential and  destiny with this kind of selfish equation.

I understand perfectly that the failure of the states is the major reason, why there is survival mentality in Africa. Our states have failed in performing their parts of the social contract, which provides that the welfare and the security of the people shall be the primary aim of government. The teeming majority of the  citizens of African state are stateless in the sense that they do not have any power or rights of citizenship. They are treated as slaves in their own lands. They are more vulnerable in their own country than some privileged foreigners, who even oppress them with the active support of their own states for the foreigners in the name of encouraging foreign investments or investors.

Most of our people carry on their shoulders the loads meant to be carried by the states. There are no social support services for the people. In Africa, governments do not create opportunities, they shrink them. In this kind of situation of social and economic chaos, self preservation becomes the primary aim of the citizen as he knows that if he is not thinking for himself, nobody is thinking for him.

That is why the privileged few in Africa must delink from the whole idea of ownership and sign up for stewardship. Our social and religious structures must begin to think more in terms of stewardship than ownership. We must begin to train our children to think in terms of stewardship and not ownership.

I share this story this story, which I culled from http://www.yahoo.com. It is a bright demonstration of the spirit of stewardship over the damned spirit of ownership. Most importantly, it answers for us the question of who is really a privileged citizen. It tell us that we do not need to control millions to be our brother’s keepers. We just need to have a heart for it.

At this point, permit me to the story of Tony Tolbert, a 51-year-old lawyer from Los Angeles, who offered to strangers his furnished home for a full year…I am sure you will find it interesting.

Tony Tolbert, a 51-year-old lawyer from Los Angeles, proves you don’t have to be a millionaire to make a huge difference. Last week, Tolbert began lending his house to a formerly homeless family for a year while he moves back in with his parents.

Tolbert’s story was profiled on “CBS This Morning.” The Harvard-educated attorney explained that he was inspired by his father’s generosity when he was younger. As a boy, Tolbert’s father frequently let strangers with no place to go stay in their house. Years later, Tolbert decided to expand on the idea.

When Tolbert told his mother, Marie, about the idea, she said, “Have you lost it?” Tolbert insisted he hadn’t. “You don’t have to be Bill Gates or Warren Buffett or Oprah,” he said to CBS News. “We can do it wherever we are, with whatever we have, and for me, I have a home that I can make available.”

Tolbert hasn’t met the people who are moving into his home. He told officials at the Alexandria House, a homeless shelter for women and children, that he wanted to loan his home to a family in need. Felicia Dukes and her four children were the lucky recipients. Before moving into their new home, Dukes and three of her kids were sharing one room in a shelter. A fourth child wasn’t eligible to join them. Now, they are all together. “My heart just fills up and stuff. … I’m just really happy,” Dukes said.

Tolbert believes that, in his words, “Kindness creates kindness. Generosity creates generosity. Love creates love. And if we can share some of that and have more stories about people doing nice things for other people and fewer stories about people doing horrible things to other people, that’s a better world.”

Thank you for reading, I await your comments.  Have an INSPIRED week.

See you next week as I share with with you another story of a woman, who lost her child to the negligence of medical practitioners and support staff of a Government Maternity Hospital in Lagos State.

http://www.taiwoakinlami.com  2348033620843

 

MATERNITY PRACTICES IN GOVERNMENT HOSPITALS IN LAGOS STATE: THE MUST-READ AND INSTRUCTIVE STORY OF A PATIENT

Welcome to the maiden edition of Social Works Watch™.  

Today we will be opening a discussion on MATERNITY PRACTICES IN GOVERNMENT HOSPITALS IN LAGOS STATE. Please follow us closely. Your responses are very important to us.

We once wrote a letter to two of the leading maternity government hospitals in Lagos State, Island Maternity Hospital and Ayinke House, having received legion of reports, which are not too favourable. The letter stated among other things:

Presently, we are doing a finding on maternity practices in Government Hospitals in Lagos State and we discovered that pregnant women who register for antenatal care with Ayinke House experience the following:

  •  As a prerequisite for registration the spouses of pregnant women are compel to either deposit a pint of blood or pay a certain amount usually between N5,000.00 and N6,000.00 in lieu a pint of blood;
  • Pregnant women spend a whole day at ante-natal session, often times they had to get there as early 6.00AM to ensure being attended to by medical personnel;
  • The unruly attitude of Para-medical personnel toward pregnant women during antenatal, labour periods and post natal;
  •  Nonchalant attitudes of staff toward pregnant women during antenatal, labour periods and postnatal.

We are about to go to the press with our findings, but in the spirit of fair hearing, we want to find out from your good office the basis for the above-mentioned. 

Though, we followed up, we did not get a meaningful responses to our letter.

Please note that this is an on-going process. We will bring you more reports on this important subject. It is no longer news that Nigeria has one of the highest maternal deaths in the world. Beside, according to a report by UNICEF, ‘every single day, Nigeria loses about 2,300 under-five year olds and 145 women of childbearing age. This makes the country the second largest contributor to the under–five and maternal mortality rate in the world…The deaths of newborn babies in Nigeria represent a quarter of the total number of deaths of children under-five. The majority of these occur within the first week of life, mainly due to complications during pregnancy and delivery reflecting the intimate link between newborn survival and the quality of maternal care.’

The last phrase, ‘quality of maternal care’ catches our attention and for some weeks to come we will beam our searchlight at the level of Social Works Watch™ on this area. We want to ascertain if there is best practice in the quality of maternal care, particularly in Lagos State.  Please note that it is important to do this report because majority of pregnant women in Nigeria cannot afford private hospital. They move between Government Hospitals and Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs). We discourage TBAs. But the people may be tempted to resort to them despite their inadequacies if the Government Hospital do not provide quality maternity services to the teeming majority of our people.

Permit us today to share with you the story of a woman, Ibijoke Rachael, who was delivered of a baby at Island Maternity Hospital:

I leave my home (Ojodu) at 5:30pm in the morning to be able to make my antenatal session in Island maternity Lagos Island. Usually I get there about 6:45am and I may be number 45 on the queue.

Taking of vital signs commences around 7:00am. A total of about 120 expectant mothers are present for this exercise every Monday morning. N40.00 is paid at the vital sign stand every week and a N100.00 at the desk before files are retrieved. This is a total of N140.00 per week asides from other medications that may be prescribed.

Registration fee for antenatal session is N5, 000:00, after which the spouse of the expectant mother is told to donate one pint of blood or pay N6, 000:00 which is compulsory.

After vital signs have been taken, we usually wait for doctors to arrive as they are not always readily available.

When the doctors start attending to us they are usually impatient as they in a hurry to be done with us all. Most times student doctors attend to us without proper supervision. Due to this fact, a lot of wrong information, is given to the patients. For example, on a particular antenatal day, one of the student doctors told me after examining me that my baby was not breathing; he repeated the test several times and still insisted on the same report. I didn’t agree with him. I told him, I could feel my baby kicking. So a senior doctor later examined me and said my baby was alive and kicking. As usual the student doctor did not carry out a proper examination. I wonder what would have happened if I had been naïve enough to believe him. I believe that even the panic that could be created by the report that my baby has stoped breathing could lead to a medical condition.

Few weeks to my delivery, I experienced some pain in my abdomen all night. I decided to go the hospital to see the doctor the next day. On getting to the card attendant, she asked why I wanted to see the doctor and I told her, and she said why should I came to disturb them over abdominal pains. I got upset and gave her a piece of my mind. Generally the care givers are very rude and impatient in their disposition to patients.  

On 22nd of September, my Monday antenatal day, I complained to the doctor that I had pains in my abdomen and he said my pregnancy was already over 9 months, and my baby’s head is already down, but to my greatest surprise he told me to go back home, which I did.

The pain was unbearable all through the night, so I returned to the hospital first thing the next morning. On getting the hospital the midwife said it was time to have my baby after paying another sum of money.

I was admitted and went into labour for 7hrs after which I had my baby around 3:15pm who was 3.8kg at birth. I had some tears due to the size of my baby and was moved to an inner room to be stitched. I overheard the nurse saying that the doctor who was to stitch me was ill.  After a while a doctor came in to do the stitching and he was there for a while trying to do it. After he said the tear was too deep and he could not handle it. He advised I should hold on for him to get another doctor and he then left the room. I later found out that he was a student doctor. After waiting for several hours without being attended to, I decided to shout with the little strength left in me as I was already drenched in a pool of my own blood. As I shouted as much as I could, one of the cleaners came in. I begged her to help me call a doctor. Before she left to run the errand, she requested from me beverages. I told her to take it and that she should just help me. I wonder why she should be interested in my beverages before running an official errand for me despite my state.

At about 7:00pm a consultant doctor came in and was alarmed at my state. He asked me a few questions about who had attended to me. When he realized that I couldn’t answer from being worn out, he gave me an injection and I slept off immediately and woke up around 10:00pm. On waking up, I demanded to see my baby, who I had not touched since delivery, but was stopped by the nurses and even insulted. They were not also explaining to me why I could not see my baby. I suspected that they felt I was too weak to carry her. I complained of pains in my leg but was told there was no paracetamol.

When I later saw my baby, she was said to have been diagnosed with jaundice and she had to be put in an incubator. I found that she was in an incubator with another child, who had rashes all over his body. I complained about this and the nurses told me that they had shortage of incubators and there was nothing they could do. Being my first child, I did not know that if I put baby oil on the head of my child, I should not put her in the incubator. That was exactly what I did. By the time I went back to check her, the oil had been heated by the incubation and it was flowing slowly to her eyes. I quickly called a nurse and removed the child from the incubator to clean the baby oil. The response of the nurse was as interesting as it was callous. She said sarcastically, ‘you should not have removed the child now. The oil will only flow into her eyes and she will just go blind.’

There were inadequate nurses caring for the babies. I witnessed the case of a baby, who died because the incubator was off all through the night and the nurses did not know.

I thank God that I left the hospital safely with my baby. It was by His mercies that we were no consumed.

Thank you for joining us today. We will continue next week. Please send your experiences and responses.

Think the Child! Think Today! Think the Future!

Have an INSPIRED DAY.

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