By; MATTHEW UKACHUNWA, Lagos
Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has bagged the Health Tech Governor of the Year Award.
The honour was conferred on Sanwo-Olu at the Nigerian Healthcare Excellence Award (NHEA) 2022 held at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Lagos Island at the weekend.
According to Tunbosun Ogunbanwo, Director, Public Affairs, Ministry of Health, Lagos State, the award was given to the governor in recognition of Lagos State Government’s outstanding application of technology to solve health problems and improve the quality of life of citizens.
Speaking after receiving the award, Sanwo-Olu said his administration is poised to maximize the use of technology in driving an efficient healthcare delivery system that offers qualitative, affordable and accessible health service delivery to citizens.
The Governor who was represented by the Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi explained how the State Government leveraged technology in its COVID response noting that the importance of technology in health service delivery is immeasurable.
While thanking the organizers of the award for recognizing his administration effort at birthing an all-inclusive healthcare system that leverages technology to improve quality of life of residents, Sanwo-Olu noted the efficient use of technology by the State government to achieve good health outcomes was made possible through a handshake with the private sector in line with his administration’s public private partnership strategy.
He explained that despite the plethora of challenges confronting the health sector, public and private sector providers and industry players still find innovative ways at every point in time to rise to the challenges and overcome public health shocks and crises that the country keeps facing.
“We do this for one reason, we do this because we’re Nigerians and we love Nigeria, and we do this because we are custodians of good health and well-being and it is our responsibility to keep our patients healthy and well.
“I think it’s important to recognize achievements in the health sector; and as one who is charged with the responsibility of charting the future of the healthcare space in Lagos State, I must say that I’m proud of the contributions and support provided to us by the private sector.
“Throughout COVID, the government of Lagos State relied heavily on the resources, the intellect, and the services of the private sector. It is my hope that the private sector providers will continue to respond kindly and promptly to the call of government whenever the need arises,” Sanwo-Olu said.
He congratulated other awardees and thanked them for their contribution to the practice of Health Care in Lagos and in Nigeria adding that their giant strides continue to inspire, not just the present generation, but future generations.
“We know what sleepless nights you go through, the painstaking efforts, care and sacrifices you put in at all levels and areas of healthcare service delivery in paving the way for good health and wellbeing of citizens by providing ideas and opportunities for the next generation”, the governor said.
Earlier, the Chairman Advisory Board of NHEA, Dr. Anthony Omolola, stated that the special recognition award for the Health Tech Governor of the Year was an acknowledgement of unique way the Lagos State Government under the administration of Governor Sanwo-Olu has leveraged the use of technology to improve the delivery and increase access to quality, affordable and efficient health care services to the populace.
According to him, Lagos is the first state to develop an e-Health strategy in Nigeria and first public sector organization in Nigeria to be Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) compliant.
“The State Government has been in the forefront of promotion and development of data governance programs in the health care sector and creation of a conducive environment for the private health tech businesses to grow, attracting numerous post-pandemic investment in the health tech space”, Omolola said.
He listed other outstanding health technology applications which earned the Governor the award to include, the ‘Eko Telemed’ service; automation of secondary and tertiary health facilities in the State; promotion and development of Lagos Smart Health Information Platform (LASHIP) and setting up of an Incident Command System prior to the outbreak of COVID in Nigeria.
The Chairman explained that NHEA is an annual event that celebrates distinguished personalities and organizations who have contributed immensely to the growth of the Nigerian health sector adding that the award which started in 2014 has become a high profile event in the healthcare industry, gaining wide acceptance from stakeholders in the healthcare community, public and private sectors.
“NHEA’s recognition aims to stimulate quality improvement and innovation in the Nigerian health sector leading to improved service delivery & management of key health issues and the capacity of individuals to influence and set new performance standards in Nigeria and beyond”, Omolola said.
Meanwhile, the General Hospital Agbowa also received an award for the most active facility on the Safecare Quality Platform during the award ceremony.
The NHEA is an initiative of Global Health Project and Resources in Partnership with Anadach group.
In attendance at the event were; Representative of the Minister for Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire; Director General Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Dr. Ifedayo Adetifa; top government functionaries, Stakeholders in the Nigeria Health sector, and representatives of financial institutions and partner organizations.