The Lagos State 1st Lady Dr. (Mrs.) Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu is one of the busiest 1st ladies in the country today. Over the last 365 days, she has been busy with the actualisation of many projects she embarked on last year on the assumption of office. Before her husband became Governor she was a very busy medical doctor. She was actively involved in medical practice.
So, when she became a 1st lady she decided to help the state reawaken all the medical structures across the state. That is why the Office of the First Lady in Lagos State has been involved in several activities geared towards making life better for the ordinary Lagosians.
The First Lady, Dr. (Mrs.) Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu has brought her wealth of experience as a medical practitioner of over 25-years to bear on the State public health sector. She is unwavering in her craving and resolves towards achieving a healthier and stronger populace. She has been working relentlessly with key stakeholders in the health sector, both on the national and international scale. She visited health care centres across the state to assess their status, donating medical kits and drugs, commissioning health care facilities, campaigning against drug addiction and suicide among the youth, encouraging Lagosians to pay particular attention to their health, while assuring them of the unwavering commitment of the Sanwo-Olu administration to investing massively in the provision of quality health care service.
She was also in the forefront of the “Healthy Bee Project”, which is a component of the present administration’s Six Pillars of Development to reposition healthcare and give the disadvantaged children access to quality medical care. The free medical mission was organized in collaboration with Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu Kadiri Obafemi Hamzat (BOSKOH) and Healthcare Mission International, a non- Governmental Organization (NGO). Dr. (Mrs.) Sanwo-Olu was at the centre of the four-week programme which commenced with a six-day screening in seven Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) across the State. The programme involved the screening of children for visual and hearing impairments and other ailments that can negatively impede their capacity to study. Succinctly put, the programme was purposely designed to keep children fit for their study and activities that would make them reach their potential, live good and fulfilling lives. The healthcare programme which was carried out at Ajara PHC in Badagry, Akerele PHC in Surulere, Ikotun PHC in Alimosho, Iga Idungaran PHC on Lagos Island, Epe PHC in Epe, Onigbongbo PHC in Ikeja, and Ita-Elewa PHC in Ikorodu touched more than 250,000 lives. Mostly children from impoverished backgrounds benefited from the free surgeries.
While working hard to ensure the success of the programme, the First Lady paid a visit to all the seven PHCs where various degrees of surgeries ranging from different levels of hernia to dental disorder, orthopaedic surgeries, eye surgery and ENT surgery (Ear, Nose and throat) were carried out on children and adults to assess the progress of the Healthy Bee project and interact with the children. Perhaps, the icing on the cake, as far as Dr. Sanwo-Olu’s involvement in the public health sector is concerned, is the commissioning of the Eti-Osa Maternal Child Center (MCC).
HER CLEANER MARKET INITIATIVE
The Office of the First Lady, through the Committee of Wives of Lagos State Officials, COWLSO, is also involved in the promotion of hygiene in markets across the State. In line with the outcome of the 2019 National Women Conference of COWLSO, which centred on ‘Unlearn, Learn and Relearn,’ the initiative is to engender a clean environment, especially in the markets.
Adequate plans were made to scale up hygiene in markets to ensure cleanliness and protect the health of residents. This is to complement the weekly Thursday environmental sanitation in markets within the State and it is being done in collaboration with market leaders. The First Lady also encouraged market leaders to embrace the Blue Box Programme of the State government, which is designed to encourage waste sorting from the source of generation. It is part of the holistic plan to promote cleanliness across the State. The Ministry-of Local Government and Community Affairs have begun to enforce compliance with rules of engagement’ in markets such as operating without a sewage system, potable water, and failure to adhere to closing time will henceforth be shut, and that it must be noted that the state government has zero-tolerance for street trading.
Certainly, there is no better time to flag off the hygiene scheme than now. It is definitely a step in the right direction in view of the COVID-19 pandemic and the recent outbreak of Lassa fever in the country.
HER CAMPAIGN AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
Many victims of domestic violence usually lack the courage to seek legal redress on the violations of their rights due to the lack of positive response from society. Domestic violence is so entrenched in our society that even the victims condone such violations of their rights as some perceive it as a sign of love and the socio-religious belief that a broken marriage or relationship is a mark of failure in life.
In Lagos State, the new face of Campaign against Domestic Violence is the First Lady. The validity of her
involvement as an advocate against domestic violence is the high level of visibility in the media, seriousness and
collaboration across a spectrum of stakeholders it is attracting.
HER COVID-19 PALLIATIVE
In order to contain the spread of the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic in the country, President Muhammadu Buhari ordered Total and Partial lockdown of some parts of the country. Being the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country, Lagos was understandably one of the States affected by the presidential lockdown directive. At the initial stage, the need to cushion the economic effect of the lockdown through the provision of various palliative packages was one of the most essential issues that surfaced. The Lagos State government, with the support of many corporate and faith-based organisations as well as individuals, was able to reasonably and creatively rise to the occasion. The Office of the First Lady was involved in the provision of palliatives to vulnerable members of the society as a way of supporting the efforts of the State government and providing succour for the people.