The Lagos State Government on Friday commissioned five new ambulances worth N150 million in a bid to reduce the morbidity and mortality rate on highways in the state.
The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris, while inaugurating the ambulances at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), said they would assist in conveying victims of road or domestic accidents to hospitals.
"We are recording high mortality and morbidity rate on our roads and in our homes, occasioned by fire and collapsed buildings.
"This is the reason why the state government is putting emphasis on emergency care, so as to reduce the rate of mortality and morbidity," Idris said. Idris also said that the state government was willing to expand the provision of ambulances to other hospitals to improve emergency services across the state.
"This service is something that will be built on because we currently have a fleet of about 30 ambulances which are functioning, but we need to have more.
"We also have 160 members of staff, which include paramedics and ambulance drivers."
"We are going to invest in the training of personnel and restructure emergency units in the state hospitals.
"There is no point taking the victims of accidents to an emergency unit that is not functioning," he said.
Idris said that the state government would partner with some private establishments who had signified interest in training the paramedics for the purpose of the service.
He urged the public not to vandalise the ambulances and give way for them during emergency situation.
"It is important that people are enlightened so that they can give ambulances priority of the road during a crisis or an accident.
"Ambulances are there to help during a crisis and, therefore, people should not vandalise them," he said. The Commander, Rapid Response Squad (RRS), Mr Hakeem Odumosu, said the squad would provide an enabling environment for the paramedics to do their jobs.