Lagos State…really leading the way


Much has been written about the new Government of Lagos State under its unlikely Governor Babtunde Raji Fashola. Much has been said about the intriguing circumstances that threw up this non-politician to governance…and how this act of fate seems to be transforming Lagos State. But the health sector, its never really been on any one’s agenda…

At best, we hear about hospitals being built, BIG hospitals! The bigger the better! It has been difficult to make the argument to people that a BIG hospital does not improve any one’s health! Health care is about identifying the health problems of a population, designing an integrated health care service (primary, secondary and tertiary) to provide these services, and managing it accordingly. Having a BIG building does nothing of the above!

When I read the first stories about 5 new 100 bed hospitals being built in Lagos state, it did not attract any attention until I read that further that these were specifically Maternal and Child Health complexes. All were being built in the grounds of already existing hospitals. I read the infant mortality rates and maternal mortality rates being quoted. I read that the hospitals are being built as part of an integrated four-year infrastructure development plan for health care.

It was obvious that someone was thinking in Lagos State!

Then came the next surprise; the press was reporting that the Lagos State government has shut down 184 private hospitals, clinics and laboratories for failing to meet basic standards of hygiene and staff training! Hygiene? In Lagos State?

A government official was quoted to say ; “Corruption, mismanagement and poor leadership are the main problems of the health system in Nigeria,”… “These have been recognized by the Lagos State government which is… tackling these issues through a reform process of which regulating the private sector is a key initiative.” Regulating the private sector?

Wow… someone really is thinking in Lagos State!

Then came a story that really blew my mind: The Lagos State Government was threatening to sack its health sector workers for ….wait for this…public criticism of the attitudes of some health workers in the state hospitals and other health facilities. The State Commissioner for Health made this threat while on an impromptu monitoring visit to some general hospitals in the State.

Yes, someone is thinking in Lagos State!

Lets hope it spreads to other states 🙂

Want to know the public hospitals in Lagos State, there opening times,…click here

Lagos University Teaching Hospital?… click here

A listing of private hospitals? …click here

Kudos to the Government of Lagos State, we hope that slowly but steadily health will return to the agenda of Governance in the country!


Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed people can change the world; indeed it is the only thing that ever has…Margaret Mead

Chikwe Ihekweazu is an epidemiologist and consultant public health physician. He is the Editor of Nigeria Health Watch, and the Managing Partner of EpiAfric (, which provides expertise in public health research and advisory services, health communication and professional development. He previously held leadership roles at the South African National Institute for Communicable Diseases and the UK's Health Protection Agency. Chikwe has undertaken several short term consultancies for the World Health Organisation, mainly in response to major outbreaks. He is a TED Fellow and co-curator of TEDxEuston.

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