The wife of the Lagos State Governor, Mrs. Abimbola Fashola, Wednesday appealed to doctors in the country not to embark on their planned nationwide strike for the sake of patients.
She made the appeal at the celebration of the 2014 First Baby of the Year programme, organised by the state government.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) had on December 22 directed its members to begin the strike on January 6 if the government did not satisfactorily resolve their grievances. The action is to protest against the doctors' poor working conditions, inadequate funding, and poor infrastructure in the nation's health sector.
Fashola, while urging the doctors to shelve the action, appealed to the federal government to promptly look into their demands with a view to tackling them. She said unless critical issues were resolved through dialogue, "the people of this country, especially women and children will continue to suffer."
Fashola said parents had a role to play for babies to actualise their potential in life. She urged parents, especially mothers, to be committed to laying good foundation for their children in the first five years of their lives by making sure all the necessary vaccinations were taken.
According to her, quality parental care would make children grow to become healthy and successful citizens. The state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, said the essence of the celebration was to welcome and celebrate the first baby that was delivered in the year.
Idris urged everyone to work toward reducing maternal and child mortality. He said parents had a role to play in the reduction of maternal, infant and child mortality.
"They need to immunise their children, which is essential for the reduction of child mortality. Pregnant women also need to attend antenatal care. "They need to adopt family planning practises, spacing the children so that they can grow and feed well," he said.
Idris appealed to health workers and doctors to work in harmony and as a team to enhance quality healthcare delivery. He also urged doctors to be considerate and not to go ahead with their planned strike.
A set of twins, delivered at 12:01a.m. to the Adediji family at the Island Maternity Hospital, weighing 2.5kg and 2.2kg respectively, were declared first babies of the year.
A baby girl, weighing 2.8kg, was also born to the Olawale Ebo family at the General Hospital, Ifako-Ijaiye at 12:02 a.m. The Abayomi Williams family also had a baby girl weighing 2.7kg at 12:02 a.m. at the Apapa General Hospital. Fashola presented gifts to the mothers and their babies at the hospitals.