Healthy twins in the Ogu Oluwa hospital
Strengthening health systems in Africa is an important goal of the Health Insurance Fund and its implementing partner PharmAccess. Clinics are upgraded as part of a quality program that also includes regular monitoring and evaluation visits, training sessions to improve the skills of the nurses and doctors and operational research to investigate the impact of the program on the health care standards. These essential components to improve health systems may sound abstract. The caesarean birth of these healthy twins on the 9th of June in the Ogu Oluwa hospital in Kwara State is therefore a very happy example of where all these components jointly helped in ensuring a safe delivery of the twins.
Upgrading and training
The Ogu Oluwa hospital has recently been upgraded with support from the local implementing partner Hygeia. The operation room has been better equipped and the hospital now has a paediatric ward with an incubator at its disposal. The upgrading was done hand in hand with a workshop for midwives and doctors of the clinics in Kwara State to address the enormous problem of neonatal and maternal mortality. According to the WHO the maternal and neonatal mortality rates in Nigeria are amongst the highest in the world. The focus of the workshop was managing possible complications during and after birth.
The picture above was taken when a team from the Centre for Poverty Related Communicable Diseases (CPCD) visited the hospital to investigate the possibility of starting a research project on the impact of the program for children under five.
Altogether, the better equipped hospital and better trained staff made it possible for the mother to deliver her babies in controlled surroundings. The improved conditions at the hospital encouraged her to come to the hospital in the first place, instead of choosing to deliver her babies at home where they may not have arrived safely.