Kwara community in self help project




Worried by the dearth of medical facilities in Omupo, an ancient Igbomina town in kwara state, sons and daughters of the community mobilised resources and accessed over N10 million  fund for the construction of a world class maternity ward. UMAR BAYO ABDULWAHAB reports.

Known for their hospitality and enterprise, sons and daughters of Omupo community in Ifelodun local government area of Kwara state recently converged on their fatherland to perform the commissioning of the maternity wing of the Omupo Cottage Hospital, a project facilitated through communal efforts.

But beyond the commissioning, the occasion was a moment for stock- taking as the community counts it blessings and chat a new cause for its socio- economic growth with a declaration that the community has been lagging behind over the years.      

State of-the-art maternity

Necessity, they say, is the mother of invention. This aptly explains the rationale behind the newly commissioned maternity ward of the Omupo Cottage Hospital in Ifelodun local government area of the state.

The over N10 million worth project, according to the chairman management  committee Dr Jamiu Otuyo was funded by KWASCIDA with selfless  contributions from the community while the the state government provided the maternity with  world class equipment worth N10million.

He said prior to the execution of the project, women, particularly mothers had to travel far to other places including the state capital to access healthcare services.

Going down memory lane, the doctor in charge of the hospital, Ismail Bakare, recalled a terrible experience  when he and only two other staff on duty ran helter – scatter to attend to four delivery cases simultaneously.

He said on that fateful day, four women fell in labour at the same time with only one labour room to accommodate them, he said.

‘‘There were only 3 of us on duty and we had four women on labour and we have just one room,’’ he narrated.

As if that was not enough, the doctor recalled another experience when the hospital lost a child because there was no power to resuscitate him.

‘‘We needed to resuscitate a child and the child died because there was no light,’’ Bakare lamented.

This situation, he said, informed the decision to ensure that the newly commissioned maternity wing enjoys 24 hours power supply.  ‘

Those unpalatable experiences, he said, prompted the thought to have a state-of the art maternity wing in the hospital.

However, all these tales he said had now come to pass as the newly commissioned maternity will render standard maternity services that covers ante-natal, surgical, investigations, family, community and mental health care services.

‘‘We have data that shows that our intervention is working. This is Omupo and we are here; we are a model for other communities,’’ he added.

Expressing confidence about the capability of the maternity to provide quality services, the doctor said, ‘‘This is an example of how a functional healthcare works; we have taken charge of our destiny. We are an example in Omupo of people who cooperate to have functional health services,’’ said the doctor in charge.

But like Oliver Twist, the doctor called for the recruitment of more clinical staff, security and perimeter  fencing  of the cottage hospital.

Also speaking at the commissioning, the national president, Omupo Descendants Union (ODU), the apex socio-cultural organisation of indigenes of the community, Dr Monisoye Olorunsola Afolabi said the community gave it all to ensure the success of the projects

He said the community went extra miles to provide items that were not on the lists of KWASCIDA including solar power to ensure stable power supply and completion of water reticulation project. ‘‘Omupo is in a hurry to develop; we are consciously in a hurry to develop,” he said.

To actualise its dream, he said ODU has set up a structure comprising a 16-man team to attract investment to the community.

N500 million investments underway

Unfolding the community’s plan to ensure quick economic and social growth of the community, the ODU president hinted that the union is championing a drive to attract local and foreign investments worth N500 million to the community.

Afolabi clarified that the N500 million targets will not be in the form of donation but investments in various sectors of the economy that will uplift the lives of the people of the community.

That, according to him, will cover supermarkets, agro-allied business, co-operatives, among others.

‘‘We are attracting N100 milion investments programme not donation but investments. Citizens of Omupo are contributing between N50, 000 to N500, 000 for investment in Omupo.”

The gesture, he said is only an indication of the unity of purpose to develop and support government in its effort to make life better for citizens of the state.

 Maintenance culture

While commissioning the project, the state governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, represented by the commissioner for sports, Alhaji Muyiden Alalade, charged the community to ensure proper maintenance of the facilities.

‘‘I urged the people of Omupo to make the best use of this facility by taking advantage of the facilities/ services available here. I also admonish you to imbibe the maintenance culture not only at the wing but across the cottage hospitals a whole.

‘‘I similarly urge communities yet to benefit from the programme of KWACSDA to borrow a leaf from the shining example of Omupo community,’’ the governor said.

The events was well attended by top  government functionaries including the commissioner for economic planning, Wasiu Odewale, Ifelodun local government chairman,  Fatai Labaka, while the commissioner for health, Alhaji  Kofo Rifun, was represented by the director medical services and training in the ministry, Dr. Johnson Oyeniyi.

The Olomu of Omupo, Oba  Yakubu Adebayo Buhari III was full of appreciation to the state governor for fulfilling the pacts he reached with him on the development brought to the community.   

Maternity records nine deliveries in two weeks

Two weeks after the commissioning, checks by Blueprint revealed that the maternity ward has recorded nine deliveries in two weeks.

Speaking with journalists yesterday, the medical officer in charge of the hospital, Dr Bakare disclosed that the first baby was delivered on April 3rd two days after the commissioning.

He said with the state government’s support in providing equipment before the commissioning, the hospital is well equipped to attend to patients. He added, “We have gone on to deliver nine babies including a caesarean section done in the early hours of today.”

While thanking everyone who supported the project, the doctor said, “When we decide to better our future, we can never be wrong. Thank you all for trusting in our abilities at Cottage Hospital Omupo. We’re grateful.”

Commenting on the development, the president of omuopo descendants union, appreciated God, the Olomu of Omupo and sons and daughters of Omupo.

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