Ogun Health Under Amosun: My Stewardship Statement, By Babatunde Ipaye - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE

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Friday, December 27, 2019

Ogun Health Under Amosun: My Stewardship Statement, By Babatunde Ipaye



Now that the facts are out of the jury, the arguments of how the Health System performed under the leadership of Senator Ibikunle Amosun and through the privilege of public service extended to me and other members of the health team can now be put to rest. I have read all shades of opinions about our performance and for me they should deepen our democracy and 
social accountability.

The purpose of this piece is not to praise sing or compare political administrations, it is simply
for public accountability and to put in context how health system in developing economies
should develop and how systems improvement should be measured, away from the rhetoric
of commissioning of complex health infrastructure and equipment.
The 2018 National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) report was published recently, the 5 yearly survey is the most reliable, internationally accepted and significantly independent 
survey conducted by National Population Commission and The DHS Program, ICF, Maryland, 
USA; the survey implementation was technically supported by USAID, UK-DFID, WHO, The 
Global Fund, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and UNFPA.
At the end of 2018, Ogun State was the safest of the 36 states and FCT for a child to survive 
childhood killer diseases in Nigeria. Our under 5 mortality rate was 30 per 1,000 live births down from 105 in 2011; and the 
Infant mortality rate was 19 per 1,000 live births from 67 in 2011. The 2018 values were the lowest for all states in Nigeria, 
(see page 169 of NDHS-2018 and figure 3 below). Our maternal mortal by the end of 2018 was also 3.2 times better than the national average.
However, the most outstanding achievement from our modest efforts and the efforts of those 
who served before us is the consistent decline in the mortality rates of these vulnerable 
populations between 2011 and 2018 (see Figures 1 & 2). The 2018 milestone values have therefore become the baseline for the new government and her health team to improve upon. 
My best wishes for them as they serve the good people of Ogun State. 
The Infant and Under 5 mortality rates constitute some of the most sensitive impact level indicators that can be used to assess 
health system improvement of any community, state or country. They summarise the cumulative effects of strategies deployed, inputs provided, processes undertaking and the outcomes of services provided.
We understood from the outset that the Ministry of Health’s core mandates include ensuring a healthy population through
implementation of promotive and preventive strategies, early detection and prompt treatment
of cases at primary care level, managing complicated cases at secondary and tertiary levels, 
rehabilitative interventions and provision of regulatory roles for private sector and other non-
governmental implementers.
In the four years of my service, we focused on Primary Health Care through distribution of life 
saving equipment to over 100 PHCs in most need, we supplied essential drugs to many of 
the PHC centres, we decentralised the cold-chain for vaccine storage by providing solar powered system for the 20 LGAs, we trained 
care providers on task shifting strategy, we provided financial protection for the poor and 
vulnerable children and pregnant women in 84 facilities across the states through the Araya 
Social Health Insurance Scheme, we rehabilitated some of the secondary facilities, we revised the business process of 12 General Hospitals and granted them semi-autonomous status, we got accreditations for our schools of nursing and midwifery, we supported the State Teaching Hospital on Power, Trainings, Accreditations and Service Efficiency and above all, we took the mother and child health intervention campaigns to the remotest parts of Ogun State.
For the private sector component of our health system, we revalidated the registration of all 
the private health institutions in the state and delisted over 300 illegally registered facilities, 
we closed down additional 228 facilities operated by quacks and worked collaboratively with 
the relevant private sector Associations to return sanity to private health space and prevented
untimely deaths. 
I thank my predecessor, Dr. Olaokun Soyinka for his hard-work, the Special Advisers to the 
Governor on Health, Dr. Rotimi Ogungbe, Dr. Babafemi Adenuga and Mrs. Foluke Bello, the
Permanent Secretaries, Drs. Ayinde and Aigoro, the Executive Secretaries, directors and all 
other staff that worked with me in the course of the interesting and sometimes thankless public 
service.
More importantly, I thank my boss, Sen. Ibikunle Amosun, fca, for the privilege of service extended to me and other members of the health team.

I have returned to my public health consulting and international health practice while I continue to passively engage the political space of my fatherland.
Long Live Ogun State. Long Live Federal Republic of Nigeria.

- Dr. Babatunde Ipaye, mph, fwacp was the immediate past Commissioner for Health in Ogun State.

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