No fewer than 100 babies that must have been conceived during coronavirus lockdown last year have been delivered within three weeks at Lagos State-owned Maternal and Childcare Centre in Epe area of the state.
The number of deliveries were said to be results of the lockdown which spanned across several months and gave married people, including expectant couples the needed time and proximity to display affections and take necessary steps toward conceiving.
Among others, the baby boom predicted for 2021 have begun despite unavailability of accurate data as not only married couples enjoyed close proximity during the lockdown, lovers who are not legally binded also exploited the season to cohabitate and create beautiful memories like married partners.
As gathered, several deliveries have also been taking places in both government and private hospitals, and experts are of the opinion that rising numbers of deliveries across Lagos state cannot be divorced from activities during the pandemic lockdown.
A medical doctor with the state government who spoke with The Guild on condition of anonymity, attributed the numbers to fertility rate and the opportunities exploited by married people and partners during the lockdown that was imposed to curb spread of coronavirus across the country.
He added that health workers, particularly those in charge of mother and baby facilities had prepared themselves for the expected baby boom in Lagos, saying more babies are also been expected.
“The birth rate since February has been on the rise like never before. Meanwhile that does not come as a surprise as we are already aware of such surge and projected baby boom due to the pandemic lockdown that allow couples to relax and have quality time together.
“Those who have been looking for babies also got the opportunity to follow their physicians advise and procedures without any work related stress or other commitments that have been serving as stumbling block to their conceiving plans. At this rate, we may be experiencing baby boom in Lagos State, one which is only similar to that witnessed during 1990s,” he said.
Giving the hospital statistic on Monday during the official commissioning of the specialist health facility dedicated to cater for the health needs of women and children in Epe, the Lagos State’s Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, disclosed that since commencement of operation at the Epe MCC three weeks ago, a total of 590 women have been attended to while over 100 babies have been delivered.
He added that the medical experts in the facility which comprises 9 doctors and 20 nurses have also attended to 630 pediatric cases.
According to him, the facility has staff strength of 20 nurses and 9 doctors and is well positioned and equipped to buttress its staffing capacity.
“10 more doctors and 20 nurses will soon be deployed by the Health Service Commission to the Epe General Hospital to complement the staff strength.
“The completion of this critical health infrastructure gives us confidence that the administration of Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu is intentional and fully committed to winning the battle against maternal and child mortality in our state,” he said.
Speaking earlier, the state’s Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, restated his administration’s commitment to eradicating the twin issue of maternal and child deaths in Lagos.
Sanwo-Olu stated that with the four floor 110-Bed Maternal and Childcare Centre in Epe, and his administration consistent action and smart investments in the health sector, he would ensure that no woman or child die from normal life-enhancing process of procreation.
He said: “In the last two years, we have shown great commitment to the improvement of maternal and child health indices in the State. This Four Floor, 110 bed-Maternal Child Center is another essential facility for safe childbirth and the reduction of maternal and infant mortality.
“Our overarching goal is to eradicate infant and child mortality in our State while our women must no longer die while giving life. We remain unwaveringly committed to this goal”.
While noting that the Epe Maternal and Child Centre brings to four the total number of MCCs delivered by his administration including the ones already commissioned in Badagry, Eti-Osa and Igando, the governor said that the plan was to build more MCCs across Lagos to improve access to qualitative maternal and child health services.
“We are not done, our plan is to build maternal child centres across the State to improve the access of expectant mothers to the best pre and post-natal care by professional health workers using modern and state-of-the-art facilities.
“There is no better time than now to put an end to preventable maternal and child deaths with technological advancement, modern equipment, and well-trained health workers; the process of bringing life into existence should no longer lead to the loss of another life”, Sanwo-Olu stated.
He explained that the Epe MCC was a secondary public health facility that would provide all services related to reproductive issues including obstetrics; gynecology; pediatrics; family planning, immunization, laboratory services, and radiology apart from emergency services.
The further urged all expectant and future mothers within Epe Local Government and its environs to make use of the facility and avoid patronizing unregistered birth homes, which he said may result in complications, lead to birth defects or loss of both mother and the unborn child.
“This Maternal Child Care Centre and the modern equipment that has been provided were made possible through taxpayers’ money: your money.
“You must therefore see it as your property and safeguard it because it is an essential facility that has been provided to save lives and promote your wellbeing.
“Through our collective efforts, we will build a safe and healthy Lagos State, where expectant mothers and our children survive and thrive”, he stated.