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Gani Fawehinmi diagnostic centre, built to avert wrong diagnosis - Ondo govt
The Ondo State Government, during the celebration of its second year in office, inaugurated the Gani Fawehinmi Diagnostic Centre in Ondo which was built in conjunction with a Lagos-based international healthcare organisation, Mecure Healthcare Limited, to immortalise the late Gani Fawehinmi, YINKA OLADOYINBO writes on the centre and its benefit to the people of the country.
A verse in the Holy Bible says, “My people perish because they lack knowledge,”the determination to curb this lack of knowledge may have been the main reason the Ondo State government and Mecure Healthcare Limited decided to invest heavily in a diagnostic centre to immortalise the late human right activist, Chief Ganiyu Oyesola Fawehinmi, in Ondo town. Fawehinmi died of cancer of the lung on September 4, 2009 after having been erroneously diagnosed and treated for pneumonia for over one year by medical practitioners in Nigeria. Eventually when he was moved abroad for proper medical attention as his condition did not improve, he was discovered to be suffering from cancer of the lung, which later resulted in his death.
Therefore, to prevent such occurrence again in the state, the Olusegun Mimiko-led administration went into partnership with Mecure Healthcare Limited, a Lagos-based healthcare company, to put in place a state-of-the-art diagnostic centre with modern equipment and facilities that could be found in any of such centres across the globe.
At the foundation laying ceremony of the centre, Mimiko had intimated the people about the kind of services that would be rendered with the equipment that would be installed in the centre. He said the centre would have CAT scan station, Sonography station/colour, Doppler, MRI station, Digital X-ray station, MRI System Room, Mammography station, Pathology station, Video conferencing auditorium, Telemedicine and VIP lounge.
Almost one year after laying the foundation stone, the centre was ready for use and on Tuesday, February 22, the state government and Mecure rolled out the drums to inaugurate the centre and celebrate another feat in the quest to ensure qualitative health care delivery for the people of the state and beyond. Indeed, the bungalow building is a beauty to behold as it is strategically located along Laje Road, Ondo. However, apart from the aesthetic value, a look round the rooms in the centre revealed that the $5.2 million (N780 million) centre has state of the art equipment that could be used for Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Computerised Tomographic Scan (CT Scan), Pathology, Cardiac Care Phcebotemy, oversea consultation for second medical opinion and other basic amenities.
Speaking on the motive behind the establishment of the centre and the benefit thereof for the people, the Ondo State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Olatubosun Omoniyi, said the governor was touched because the state lost one of its illustrious sons as a result of a possibly preventable disease. This, according to him, made Mimiko to feel that an end should be put to people dying preventable death.
He stated that many of the life-threatening ailments that eventually result into death of the people could be prevented or treated if detected early enough. He said the centre is a one-stop facility where diagnostic services could be sought and rendered. The commissioner said before the establishment of the centre in the state, the people of the state had to travel to Lagos and Ibadan before getting access to diagnostic services and getting their health problems solved. He however said the story has changed with the coming on board of the Gani Fawehinmi Diagnostic Centre.
Omoniyi said: “The centre will stop people from going to Lagos, Benin or Ibadan for diagnosis, we have had cases of people going to India simply for computersied tomography scan or magnetic resonance imagery scan, what they go to Lagos and India to do, we have brought it to the doorstep of our people in Ondo State by this collaboration with Mecure, a company noted for diagnosis services in Nigeria and abroad. Governor Mimiko, in his bid to ensure affordable healthcare for the people, got into partnership with Mecure India and they set up this comprehensive diagnostic centre here in the state, it is a huge financial outlay but we have our own contribution into it.
“Talking about the equipment therein, we have laboratory equipment, radiological equipment, cardiographic equipment and equipment for physiotherapy. In the area of physiotherapy, we have massaging machine, in the area of cardiology, that is the care of the heart, we have electro-cardiographic machine, in the radiological aspect which is medical imaging, we have digital x-ray, instead of using films we generate the images via digital means and these images can be sent via e-mails because we have a tele-medicine unit as well, where we communicate with expert within and outside Nigeria, we have a tele-conferencing unit for that, we have this laboratory facility where the equipment there can carry out more than 2000 different investigations. Auto analyser for urine and examination of other body tissues”.
Apart from the equipment, the collaborating effort of the state government and its partner had ensure effective staffing of the centre to give efficient services to the people. Speaking on this, the commissioner said, “we also have our expert, the advantage is that we also have technical staff who are Nigerians, working with the foreign experts, our personnel will have the opportunity of learning on the job from the medical engineers, radiographers and all other experts that will be working there.
“In terms of affordability, if you are conversant with Mecure India diagnostic services, they run the cheapest and qualitative diagnostic services in Lagos, so there won’t be difference in their charges and because government is collaborating with them, we may even get cheaper charges.
“The technical staff will resume this weekend, by Monday or Tuesday work will start at the centre, ultra-sound service is there. Our people can go there for scan, there are doctors that will help in interpreting some of these radiological findings, we have a visiting cardiologist that will attend to patients with heart problems after doing the ECG, so it is a one-stop shop for diagnosis and counselling or consultation because we have expert on ground that will counsel the patient or give advice on the findings.
“The services being offered by the centre is affordable, it is within reach, then the location is strategic in the sense that Ondo is close to Ore, the MRI machine that is there and the computerised tomography machine that is there are very useful for scanning the brain and for total body scan. For instance, if an accident victim that is unconscious is rushed there, some of these machines are available to do a brain scan and you can make accurate diagnosis, whether there is bleeding going on or there is a collection of blood clot that can cause problem, this will be quickly made and when correct diagnosis is made then the treatment is half solved.
On staffing, he said: “It is a Public-Private-Partnership arrangement, some of the core staff will come from our partner, we also have bio-medical engineers that will maintain these equipment, we have also deployed some of our staff to complement the efforts of the technical staff that are expatriates, this will afford our staff the opportunity of working on these equipment and equally learn on the job.
Considering the location of the centre viz-a-viz its accessibility to the people of the whole state, Omoniyi said, “the centre is readily accessible to the people from the central and southern senatorial district, the northern senatorial district would be catered for by the investment of this government in infrastructure, with good roads, it will not be difficult to take somebody from Ikare-Akoko to the centre as this cannot be compared to taking such person to Ibadan or Lagos.”