By John Kayode
Dr Olusegun Mimiko, immediate past Governor of Ondo state, will be speaking at the opening ceremony of the 2022 Physicians’ Week of the Lagos chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) holding in Ikeja Lagos on Tuesday.
According to the Lagos chairman of NMA, Dr Benjamin Olowojebutu, the theme for the Physicians’ Week is ‘Nigeria’s Healthcare Delivery System and The 2023 Democratic Transition: A time to change the narrative’. He said President of Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Asiwaju Olawale-Cole, will chair the opening ceremony while Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, is the distinguished guest of honour.
John Paul Akinduro, the former governor’s Special Assistant on Media and Digital Communications, said the Lagos NMA considers Mimiko as possessing the requisite credentials to engage Nigerian Doctors and key stakeholders on critical issues in the healthcare ecosystem.
He said, “Mimiko’s healthcare policy as governor of Ondo state was adjudged by reputable international organisations as one of the best in the continent. He is going to speak to the gathering from his wealth of knowledge as a medical doctor who served twice as commissioner for health in Ondo state and governor for eight years”.
In its 2013 report on Maternal health in Nigeria, The Centre for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) Washington DC, singled out Ondo state under Mimiko for commendation, saying “Ondo State Abiye program, offers a glimpse of what is possible with political will, evidence-based planning, simple, available technologies, and policies centered on the immediate needs and circumstances of pregnant women”.
The 2008 NDHS data indicated Ondo as having the worst indices in maternal and child care among states in southwest Nigeria. In the following year, Mimiko launched the Abiye Safe motherhood program upon assuming office as governor. Under this initiative, pregnant women and children ages 0 to 5 enjoyed free and quality healthcare including Cesarian Section (CS). A key component of Abiye was the establishment of two Mother and Child Hospitals as the apex referral centres and Basic or Comprehensive health centers in every human settlement.
“Pregnancy shall no longer be a death sentence in Ondo state” Mimiko declared many a time.
Significantly, Ondo state won the Bill and Melinda Gates immunization leadership challenge twice. It is on record that Mimiko handed over power in 2017 with maternal mortality reduced to over 70 percent, increase number of medical consultants from four in 2009 to over 80 and a functional Emergency Medical System (EMS), among other landmark achievements in the health sector.