Given the complexities of our nation’s economic and socio-political climates and the attendant dysfunctions and dislocation of many human endeavours, seeing any institution brazenly ride against the tidesto stardom calls for due recognition and attention.
This becomes even more compelling when such an institution belongs to a group classified as service-oriented and non-profit making.
The fore-going aptly describes the success story of the Federal Medical Centre, Idi-Aba, Abeokuta a 250-bedded regional specialist hospital which came into existence on 21st April 1993, thus turning Twenty in April this year .
Within its relatively ‘few’ years of existence, the hospital had carved a niche for itself as primus inter pares arising from its significant contributions to the fields of medicine, training and research.
At an International Conference that held recently in Abeokuta, the Ogun State Capital, the Hospital’s Medical Director, Dr Oladapo Sunday Sotiloye brilliantly brought the message home to his diverse audiences when he said the hospital within its twenty years of existence has continued to be “locally relevant and globally visible in theareas of excellent medical services, research and training”.
A trip down the memory lane indicated that the hospital was inaugurated in 1993 following the handover by the then state HospitalIdi-Aba by former Ogun State Governor Chief Olusegun Osoba to the Federal Government for development into a Federal Tertiary Health Hospital for the people of Ogun State and Nigerians in general.
This was in fulfillment of the National Health Policy that states that the “Federal Government of Nigeria was committed to the establishment of a tertiary health institution in every state that did not have a teaching hospital.
At inception, the hospital took off as a tertiary health institution with the philosophy of excellence in the provision of medical services to the people of Ogun State and the neighboring states and nations. However, over the recent years, the scope of this philosophy has gradually expanded to further encompass excellence in training and research, so that today we can rightly say that the hospital stands on a tripod of excellence in research, training and healthcare service delivery.
With very limited infrastructure and trained personnel at its infancy period, the hospital has witnessed a phenomenal transformation in infrastructure and manpower development over the last two decades.
As against three departments at inception, the hospital recently boasts of over 30 departments and over 50 specialists in the various fields of medicine. With less than 50 beds at the take off, the hospital presently has over 250 beds.
Federal Medical Centre, Abeokuta is an accredited Centre for residency training in the specialties of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Internal Medicine, Family Medicine and Paediatrics while plans are at an advanced stage to commence training in Surgery, Anaesthesia and Radiology.
Internship training also takes place in Medicine, Pharmacy, Radiograph yPhysiotherapy and Medical Laboratory Sciences. Undergraduate medical and allied health sciences students from local and foreign medical schools have been undertaking clinical attachments in the hospital for periods of varying durations.
Nursing students from the state-owned school of Nursing also regularly undergo their practical nursing training on the wards of the hospital.
Besides, consultant staff of the hospital regularly undertake additional programmes within and outside the country as well as participate actively in local and international conferences.
Within its short period of existence, the hospital has impacted positively on the growth of medicine in the country and has earned some local and international recognition.
- the Hospital successfully separated Siamese Twins,
- the first health institution in Ogun State to secure registration with the National Health Research Ethics Committee (NHREC)
- the first institution in Nigeria to perform Transoesophageal Echocardiography,
- International recognition by the Palliative Care Development Initiative(USA) as leading palliative care organization among others.
Speaking during a visit to the Hospital on the 26th February, 1998, the former Health Minister, Prof. Iyorwese Hugher said
The FMC here is really justifying the goals for which it was established. I am impressed with the very high level of maintenance culture and the calibre of staff.
Similarly, the former Minister of State for Health, Arc Halima Tayo Alao on a visit to the Hospital in 2006 had this to say
“I commend most sincerely the efforts of the Management and staff of this Centre.Please keep up the good work”.
The former Finance Minister, Dr. Onaolapo Soleye on a visit to the Centre remarked;
An exceptionally clean environment inspite of the dwindling resources. This is unscheduled visit, highly impressed with the environment and the commitment of the employees.We must assist to make this Centre great and greater.
Definitely, the journey of the hospital over the past 20 years has been frought with several challenges. Kudos must however be given to the visionary leadership in which the hospital was blessed with.
The Pioneer Medical Director, Professor Emmanuel Oladipo Otolorin in the beginning grappled with the myriad of daunting constraints to bring the hospital to a sound footing.
His successor Dr. Theophilus Olujimi Motayo did his best to sustain and improve upon the several innovations of his predecessor.
Impressively, due attention must be paid to the forthrightness, dedication, commitment and purposeful leadership of the current Medical Director,
Dr Oladapo Sunday Sotiloye who within a short time in office had consciously and conscientiously transformed the fortunes of the hospital.
More infrastructures were being provided, services were being expanded while staff training and re-training was accorded a high premium in the scheme of things in the hospital.
To mention just a few, the purposeful and result –oriented leadership of the Dr Sotiloye led administration has dynamically and methodically changed the landscape of the Hospital by undertaken the construction of new structures and provision of basic amenities which included the following:
- Successful construction and completion of one storey building GOPD and speciality clinics (having about 51 Consulting rooms).
- Upgrading of the OPD Phase II to Accident and Emergency Complex.
- Provision of the Cardiac Centre, incorporating Renal Ward.
- Extension of Radiology Block to house the CT Scan.
- Vertical extension of the building housing former Pharmacy to Obstetrics and Gynecology Ward, Neonatal ward and Male Ward.
- Extension of the CMPC Department.
- Construction of a new Medical Health Records Building.
Already, work is nearing completion on the construction of a Modular Theatre to comprise of 8 suites and a 4-wing complex to house ENT/ Ophthalmology and Physiotherapy Department, incorporating the GYM.
In order to address the seemingly intractable erratic electricity and water supplies to the Centrewhich were common phenomena since inception, the current leadership took the bull by the horns by successfullyconnecting the Centre to a 33KVA National grid. In addition a brand new 500KVA Generator set was procured through the Internally Generated Revenue to serve as a back up.
Considering the importance of water to the day-to-day running of the Centre, the Management resuscitated some of the abandoned bore holes, sank new ones and successfully re-connected the hospital to the major public mains.
Similarly, new internal roads were constructed to ease vehicular movement within the hospital complex while old ones were successfully rehabilitated.
All of these pragmatic initiatives have continued to yield positive results in the smooth discharge of health care delivery services in the Hospital.
Through wit and tact and uncanny wisdom, the staffare well motivated to discharge their professional obligations enthusiastically which has continued to result in the high number of hospital patronage.
The Medical Director, Dr Sotiloye has assured the teeming patients and clients of the hospital to continue to look forward to improved health care delivery services in the Centre in the years ahead.
At Twenty, the Federal Medical Centre, Idi-Aba Abeokuta is indeed a locally relevant and globally visible health institution.
Written By: Segun Orisajo, Public Relations Executive of Federal Medical Centre, Abeokuta.