With the increasing need to mitigate unnecessary loss of lives on the roads, the Osun State Government has procured 19 ambulances equipped with modern gadgets to give first aid at accident scenes and during transit to hospitals.
The Governor of Osun State, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, who lamented the rising cases of accidents on roads in Nigerian, which has claimed numerous promising lives, vowed that government would procure more ambulances to cover all accident flash points in the state.
Aregbesola disclosed this at the flag-off of the Special Ambulance Services System and Emergency Response Team code named O-Ambulance.
He said the programme is another turning point in healthcare delivery in the state.
The governor decried the lack of prompt response to emergencies like road accidents, natural disasters like floods, fire incidents and medical emergencies by health personnel.
He argued that many victims of road traffic accidents and other disasters could have been saved if responses to accidents and emergencies had been prompt and health workers provided with the necessary tools to function efficiently and effectively.
He said: “The health sector has suffered neglect by past administrations.
“As a responsive and responsible government, which first priority is the well being of the people, we cannot fold our hands and see our people die unnecessarily through road traffic accidents and other emergencies.
“Our panacea to redress this ugly trend is the establishment of the Osun Special Ambulance Services System and Emergency Response Team (O-Ambulance) and improved healthcare services, which our administration has strived to provide since we came on board.”
The governor revealed that some roads have been identified in the state on which fatal accidents frequently occur.
These include: Ibadan-Ife-Ilesa-Owena Expressway, Ibadan-Iwo-Osogbo Expressway and the Gbongan-Osogbo-Ikirun-Konta-Ijabe Expressway.
He however told the gathering that the dualisation of the Ikirun-Konta-Ijabe Expressway is currently going on.
The governor noted that strategic points have been identified along these roads where ambulance ports will be constructed and ambulance vehicles stationed.
Aregbesola continued: “The points for the Ibadan-Ilesa-Ijebu-Jesa Expressway are Ikire junction, Ilesa junction and Ijebu-Jesa/Owena axis. For the Osogbo-Ikirun-Ijabe/Konta expressway, the ambulance points will be located at Sekona junction, State Secretariat junction and Konta/Ijabe axis.
“For the Iwo-Osogbo road, a unit will be set up on Iwo axis.
“These ambulance units will be manned by trained paramedics and qualified health personnel for efficient service delivery.”
According to him, there are also medical response teams in the nine state hospitals that will promptly respond to victims of road traffic accidents and other emergencies evacuated and brought to the hospitals by O-Ambulance teams.
The ambulances, he noted, are equipped with the state-of-the-art communication gadgets for use of the ambulance teams and of the medical rapid response teams for effective communication.
He said members of the public would be provided with special numbers so that they can link and access the services of the ambulances and medical rapid response teams quickly and free of charge.
Besides, he said the nine state hospitals earmarked for this scheme have been upgraded with the purchase of medical equipment worth N19 million, while the training of health personnel and paramedics is ongoing.
The governor thereafter test-drove one of the ambulances to the admiration of the crowd.
The state’s Commissioner for Health, Dr. Temitope Ilori, told the gathering that in addition the ambulances, 10 Trauma Centres are ready for commissioning, appealing to health workers in the state to volunteer to work in those Trauma Centres.
Ilori Said: “This administration is working hard to ensure abundant lives for the people.
“Health is cardinal to this and these initiatives are some of those the government has pursued with doggedness.”