January 27, 2023

Angela Onwuzoo

The Lagos State government has renovated an ambulance point on Bajulaiye Road in the Shomolu Local Government Area of the state which was abandoned for over five years.

The renovation came after a report by Reportr Door HealthWise had revealed the poor state of the ambulance point.

The abandoned ambulance point is one of the ambulance points of the state ambulance service – LASAMBUS built by the state government to provide pre-hospital care services, especially during medical emergencies on the state highways.

The abandoned facility was turned into a private water and food-selling spot by some of the residents.

Reportr Door HealthWise had earlier reported that the state government had abandoned the ambulance point for over five years with many residents of the area lamenting that they never felt the impact of the facility.

The abandoned ambulance point on Bajulaiye road in Shomolu. Image credit: Angela Onwuzoo

The ambulance point is, however, now wearing a new look after it was renovated by the state ministry of health.

The Reportr Door HealthWise story titled: “Residents lament as abandoned Lagos ambulance point turns private water selling outlet” published last September captured how some residents of the area converted the ambulance point to a trading centre following its abandonment by the state government.

The Chairman of the Lagos State Environmental Sanitation and Special Offences (Enforcement) Unit, CSP Sola Jejeloye, led officials of the task force to evict the illegal occupants, cleared and demolished illegal structures inside and around the ambulance point.

Mr. Jejeloye told our correspondent that the task force reclaimed the facility following a directive from the state ministry of health after the Reportr Door HealthWiseHealthWise story was published.

Speaking with our correspondent, Jejeloye said, “We normally carry out our enforcement activities in the state. In the case of the ambulance point at Bajulaiye Street, we received complaints from the ministry of health. They wrote to us and that was how we mobilised our enforcement team to that place.

“Some people turned the ambulance point into a market zone, selling food and water. So, we have to remove their kiosks and the rest. We have made some arrests.”

Jejeloye warned that the days of people occupying government facilities illegally are numbered in the state.

“It is selfish and inhuman for anyone to convert amenities meant for public usage to personal property. We will ensure we arrest those involved in such practices within the state. We have had instances in the past where people even converted designated Bus Stops to shops or something else, but this time around we will put an end to the mess,” he warned.

Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Dr. Olusegun Ogboye, told our correspondent that the media has a role to play by drawing the government’s attention to areas where there are gaps.

The PS said, “You are in partnership with the government. It is part of your role to call our attention to things when we miss them and when you call our attention to them, we will deal with them. And will respond just the same way we have responded to this one.

“When we got the report, we said in the interim, let us go back to using those places. So, we are renovating the ambulance points one by one.

“We are building more permanent structures that will address the needs of the health worker that will man the ambulance points.

“So, that is what we are doing now. We are also adding new ambulances to our fleet.”

Ogboye had earlier claimed that the ambulance point was abandoned because some LASAMBUS officials were being attacked.

“We are in the process of building ambulance points in our local governments. Before, our people used to be on the road and so, they were being attacked by people at those points. Just to make sure that we still get the spread and people won’t have to travel far to get their emergency needs, we are in the process of building ambulance points in each of our local governments now. That is the strategy we are using. We have not done that yet but we are in the process of doing that,” the PS said.

The refurbished ambulance point now. Photo credit: Angela Onwuzoo

 

Some of the residents who spoke with Reportr Door Healthwise expressed delight at the renovation of the facility and the resumption of ambulance service in the area.

They noted that the area usually records emergency cases resulting from road accidents due to heavy vehicular movement.

One of the residents and a trader, Mrs. Esther Lawal said, “We are happy that the government came to our help and God will bless those who helped to make sure that ambulance point works again. This Bajulaiye street is always busy and we normally record a lot of accidents in this area.”

Another resident, Mr. Moshood Moboloji, commended the state government for doing the needful.

Moboloji said, “Since the ambulance point was established here under the former State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, we have never benefited from it for one day. We are happy that the state government has responded to our lamentation. You know that this place is densely populated and busy and we also have emergencies here. We have had cases of road accidents without help coming to the victims. But the story will change with this renovation and resumption of services.”

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