Lagos State government’s desire to provide adequate facilities and care for its ever-increasing population and visitors, led to the establishment of the Ambulance Stations in 2011. Located in strategic points across the Lagos metropolis, these points served as temporary sites for accident victims to receive basic First Aid treatment before being moved to the appropriate hospital. They were to ensure that accident victims received quick medical care that would prevent their cases from deteriorating.
Thus, the fully-serviced points were positioned at Iyana-Itire, Adeniji-Adele, Abule-Egba, Anthony, Costain, Igando, Mile 2, Oshodi, Jibowu, Iyana-Dopemu, Mile 12, Ajara-Badagry and Third Mainland Bridge, among others.
On its website, Lagos State Ambulance Service (LASAMBUS), set up to provide pre-hospital care service, disclosed that 15 ambulance points were established throughout the state, with plans to add five more.
But this grand dream may have been lost, as some of the ambulance points are currently lying in ruins, while many that are still standing have no stand-by ambulance. The state government simply seems to have lost the zeal to carry on with this noble idea.
Indeed, many of the ambulance stations have either been pulled down and converted into other structures, or totally neglected that they bear little or no resemblance to what they used to be.
For instance, only the Third Mainland Bridge and Anthony ambulance stations presently boast of ambulances.
Those that have been pulled down or converted into other structures and overtaken by development include the Abule-Egba Station that got bulldozed during reconstruction of the Lagos-Abeokuta Road.
The ambulance station at Jibowu was also removed to pave way for the construction of a recreation centre that is not accessible to residents.
Also, the ambulance stations at Costain and Oshodi are in ruins. While the roof of the Oshodi ambulance station is missing, the one in Costain has been blown off, but is lying on the floor.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), about 1.3 million people die from road traffic accidents yearly. This is aside the fact that between 20 and 50 million more people suffer non-fatal injuries, with many incurring one disability or the other, as a result of injury.
Globally, road traffic fatality rates are the highest in the African continent at 26.6 deaths per 100,000, with Nigeria having yearly mortality rate of 20.6 deaths per 100,000 people, in comparison to the USA at 10.8 deaths per 100,000 people and the UK at 2.9 deaths per 100,000 people.In Nigeria, between January and September, not less than 3,689 persons reportedly died from road accidents. A breakdown showed that between January and March 2020, there were 1,758 deaths; April to June 2020, 855 deaths; and July to September 2020, 1,076 deaths. (Guardian)