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Lagos unveils floating clinic boat for waterways’ safety

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The Lagos State Government has launched a ‘Floating Clinic Boat’; a Fiber Glass, Mono Hull Boat 200HP x 2 capacity, for inland waterways medical emergency and riverine communities medical outreach services as part of efforts to increase access to prompt, qualitative and efficient health care services on the waterways and riverine communities across Lagos.

This was contained in a statement by the Director of Public Affairs, Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA), Tunbosun Ogunbanwo, on Wednesday.

The Floating Clinic Boat; a brain child of the Lagos State Ministry of Health and LASWA is equipped with four medical observation beds, medium sterilization unit, o2 bottle, gauge, infusion stand, foldable stretcher and fully kitted first aid box.

The clinic boat which is compartmentalized into four sections including; the Wheel house (for captain and crew), observation room (for patients), Doctor’s office and Nurses station and reception has marine safety equipment including life jackets, fire bucket, life buoy, life rat fire extinguisher and navigational lights, as well as navigational equipment like garmin ecomap, compass, VHF radio accessories and siren.

Speaking at the unveiling and inspection of the boat clinic, the Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Dr. Olusegun Ogboye explained that the idea behind the Floating Clinic was to help provide first aid, medical emergency care and basic healthcare services at accident scenes on the inland waterways and riverine communities in Lagos State.

“The Floating Clinic is mainly to deal with emergencies on the waterways and provide outreach services to riverine communities. This is part of the initiative by the Ministry of Health to ensure that we extend our medical and ambulance service to the waterways, remote riverine communities and areas that can only be accessed by water. This is also an example of partnership between different agencies of government; the boat actually belongs to LASWA but will be operated by the Ministry of Health,” he said.

Ogboye disclosed that the Floating Clinic will be deployed for the ongoing integrated measles and COVID vaccination campaign in riverine communities and water ways across Lagos State adding that it is part of a plan initiated by the present administration of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to ensure that emergency services in Lagos are ramped up to the point where response time are reduced.

He said, “This is the beginning of the initiative. There is definitely an intention to expand, scale up and integrate our ambulance services; our ambulance boats, mobile intensive care units and transport ambulances. It is something that we have planned that is certainly why we are starting with one boat and we are going to expand. It is a sustainable idea, we already run ambulance services, we are only expanding to include the waterways and we have the human resources to run it.”

The Permanent Secretary noted that there will be a minimum of two medical personnel on board the Floating Clinic at any one time who will run shifts adding that citizens in riverine communities can have access to the Floating clinic by dialing the Lagos State Emergency numbers.

Speaking in the same vein, the General Manager, LASWA, Mr. Damilola Emmanuel noted that the initiative will further add to the integrated emergency and rescue system being put in place by LASWA to ensure safety of commuters and wellbeing of citizens of riverine communities.

Earlier, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Health, Dr. Oreoluwa Finnih stated that one of the core tasks of the Floating Clinic boat is medical outreach services to riverine communities to provide primary health care services including immunization, disease prevention and health promotion services to citizens.

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