SPEECH BY DR. ADEREMI DESALU mni
FORMER PERMANENT SECRETARY OF SPECIAL DUTIES, CURRENT CHAIRMAN OF THE COURT OF GOVERNORS, LAGOS UNIVERSITY TEACHING HOSPITAL (LUTH).
When Toun asked me to be the guest of honour at the ceremony marking the conclusion of the Good Home Quality Service Advocacy Scheme™, I was delighted. It is a seminal project. A truly innovative strategy for implementing the national law and policies which regulate the lives of children in our great but troubled country. The Good Home manuals apply national policy in bite size key inputs across the spectrum of child care. In this way, they will help, indeed they are already helping to regulate child welfare service delivery in the institutions from Lagos, Ogun and Oyo states that have enrolled into the Scheme.
Being a medical practitioner and former Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, I am particularly pleased to see that the largest section of the Good Home Guide is dedicated to health care service provision.
The World Health Organisation defines Health as:
“A state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
The Good Home Guide criterion “Is our Culture Healthy”, does an excellent job of ensuring that this definition is realised in Nigerian child institutions. I was happy to hear that the lowest score awarded by the Good Home Visitor in an institution in the health criterion was a “good” 65% , while the highest score – and there were several who approximated it – was an “outstanding” 94%!
The Ministry of Special Duties is in charge of National Youth Service Corps. As the current Permanent Secretary, I was delighted to hear that 20 400 level Social Work students from the University of Lagos had participated in the Good Home Scheme. These students, once graduated, are likely to spend the NYSC year in a social welfare agency. Once there, they will be fully equipped to be of use to the host agency in a variety of valuable ways.
Sponsor A Child, a small charity, has done the work of a full government department. In the UK, work of this nature is undertaken by Ofsted – the government agency mandated to conduct inspectorate services and to perform quality assurance in education and child welfare institutions. I am proud to associate with this important, ground breaking project . I applaud the work done by the management and staff of Sponsor A Child and the financial support of the Embassy of France in Nigeria which has made the delivery of the pilot Good Home Scheme possible.
It is an honour to be here. Thank you once again and God bless you.
Dr. Aderemi Desalumni
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Special Duties
Lagos State Government