The Lagos State Government has asked residents to stop paying for birth certificates, saying any state official who demanded money should be reported for disciplinary actions.
The Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Primary Health Board, Dr Tayo Lawal, spoke during the inauguration of the Surulere Primary Health Centre, Agbado-Oke-Odo, Alimosho Local Government Area.
The health centre was renovated and equipped by the Embassy of Japan in partnership with a non-governmental organisation, Street-to-School Initiative.
Lawal, who was represented on the occasion by the Director of Medical Services and Disease Control, Dr Eniola Erinosho, commended the embassy and the NGO for supporting government’s drive to improve access to quality health care.
He urged the people to protect the facility and equipment, assuring them that the government would deliver efficient medical services at the health centre.
“There is, however, one thing I want you to monitor. If we have birth registration in this place and we are issuing birth certificates, you are not expected to pay a kobo for them. If anybody asked you for money, report such a person. We are assuring you that we will provide adequate personnel for this health centre,” Lawal added.
The Baale of Oke Abiye Town, Nojeeb Ajolojuota, asked that doctors be deployed in the health centre and a house built for them so they could operate 24/7.
The Charge D’ Affairs of the Embassy of Japan, Mr Takayuki Shinozawa, said the project was aimed at “bringing inclusive basic health care to everyone in the community by renovating the facility, providing a water purification system, a solar power system, office furniture, hospital equipment, among others.”
The founder of the Street-to-School Initiative, Oluwatosin Olowoyeye-Taiwo, said the death of a pupil and a parent over poor health care informed her decision to seek interventions.
She noted that the centre was her second project in the area.