HISTORY OF GENERAL HOSPITAL, LAGOS (ODAN)
The General Hospital, Lagos is a premier General Hospital, in Nigeria. It was established in the year 1893 as a Military Hospital to take care of the British Army that were sick during the Colonial days.
The Hospital was then known as African Hospital but this was changed to General Hospital to curb a riot on discrimination against a black man (Mr. Ivor Commies) a Sierra-Leonian and Mr. Keith a white man who then were staying at Bristol Hotel in the 1950’s. The first set of Nurses trained at General Hospital, Lagos were admitted in 1952. Mr. J. A. Agboola a 71 yr. old man was one of the nurses trained in 1952. He is still alive and lives in his home town of Igbara-Odo in Ekiti State.
During the Nigerian Independence on 1st of October, 1960, the Hospital was handed over to the Federal Government-and upon the creation of Lagos State on the 27th of May, 1967, the hospital was handed over to the Lagos State Government.
The services that were available then included General Out-Patient services, Surgery and Obstetrics and Gynecology. The Obstetrics and Gynecology Department was later moved to Massey Street (Ita Eleiye) where most prominent Lagosians were born.
The l.ate Dr. Samuel Emmanuel a surgeon was the first African Medical Director. Dr. Savage took over in 1961. Dr. Shodipo was also ‘a medical Director while Mr. Arnarvi Was the Hospital Secretary then and Mrs. Oguntolu was the Chief Matron. Dr. Majekodunmi was in- charge of Massey Street Hospital but his operations were carried out at General Hospital, Lagos.
He later established a theatre at Massey Street to take care of the Obstetrics and Gynecological cases.
General Hospital, Lagos Casualty and Out-patient Department were formerly a wooden structure the then Prime Minister late Tafawa Balewa replaced the wooden structure in the early 60’s after been prompted by Dr. Majekodunmi.
The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) was started at General Hospital, Lagos and Dr. Majekodunmi was the first Secretary, General Hospital, Lagos, has served as a training center for a lot of prominent Doctors, Pharmacists, Nurses Radiographers, technologists etc. People like the late-Prof. Olikoye Ransome-Kuti, Dr. Andrew Blair Aitkem who died in Nigeria in 1935. Others include Dr. Awoliyi, Dr. (Mrs.) Abimbola Awoliyi, Dr. Odeku, Dr. Saraki, Dr. Ore Falomo, Dr. E. A. O. Bucknor, Dr. Adebusoye, Dr. Leke Pitan, Dr. Ade Ekemode to mention just a few.
Some Medical Directors of the General Hospital, Lagos include Dr. Pearse, late Dr. Ajose Williams, Dr. Obi Akpan, late Dr. Norman-Williams, Dr. A. Efunkoya, late Dr. G. O. Williams, late Dr. S. O. joseph, Dr. O. Ogunsulire, Dr. L. A. Farri and Dr. F. E. Gaba who handed over to Dr. (Mrs.) R. O. Olatunji injuly, 2002.
This Department is as old as the Hospital. It served as a training center for Pathologists,
Technologists, Technicians and Assistants. Dr. E. T. Smith became prominent in the 1930’s
for the training of Medical Students.
During the Colonials days, there was a small Mortuary at Macgregor Island mainly for
Forensic Pathology. Abandoned babies and accident cases were mainly handled there.
Another mortuary was near the Engineering Department. The Mortuary now in use was
built during the administration of Governor Lawal.
The Blood Bank started at Massey Street Children Hospital for maternal cases. Mr. Park and
Mr. Idogwu were Technologists and they both worked at the Blood Bank. When the
maternity section was moved from Massey to the present Lagos Island Maternity Hospital,
the Blood Bank was moved to Broad Street.
The efforts and the hard work of the following pathologists are worthy of note, they are Dr.
Don Santos, Dr. Uku, Dr. Laja, Dr. Ahimie, Dr. Idahosa, Dr. Braimo, Dr. Boyo-Ekwueme and
Some Laboratory Technologists who also contributed their quota to the services rendered
here are Mr. Ayuba, Mr.ldundun, late Mr. Adeyombo, Mr. Aro, Mr.lneh to mention a few.
Also the effort of the popular Mortuary Attendant in the 1960’s cannot go unnoticed
“Sunday Gbokugboku”. May his soul rest in peace.
The Radiology Department of General Hospital, Lagos was established in 1913. Over the
years, the British expatriates manned the Department before Nigerian Radiologists took
overthe headship, Doctor Helmis-Palmer, late Dr. G. O. Williams, Dr. T. O. Odusanya, Dr. A.
O. Osinuga and Dr. T. Oyero.
The efforts of the various Chief Radiographers like late Mrs. Osunkiyesi, Mr. B. Keshiro,
Mrs. I. Eribo and Mrs. M. T. Onimole is well appreciated in the growth of the Department.
The Chest clinic was established for the care of patients with tuberculosis. It was established
along with the General Hospital, Lagos and were then under the Federal Government
before it was transferred to Lagos State Government.
The Dental department has come a long way as it was established along with the hospital and
were under the Federal Government. A wing of the department is still being managed by the
Federal Government to date. Some of the old dental surgeons worthy of note are Dr. Inyang, Dr.
Ogunbiyi, Dr. Ogundipe, Dr. Arole, Dr. Subair, Dr. L. Sanni.
PHYSICAL MEDICINE CENTRE
The Physical Medicine and Medical Rehabilitation centre, General Hospital Lagos was
established about 40years ago by Late Dr. B. O. Adebonojo. The centre helps in rehabilitation
of patients with physical disabilities and impairment which cut across all age groups. The Unit
was raised to a very high esteem by Dr. T. A. A Bashorun and is presently being headed by Dr.
General Hospital Lagos is situated in Lagos Island Area, a few metres from the Lagoon shore – between the beginning of Broad Street and Marina in high brow business/commercial heartland of Lagos.
It is the foremost of its kind in the country. It was established as a military hospital to take care of members of the British Armed forces that were ill during the colonial days. At its establishment in 1893, it was the first General Hospital in Nigeria. Its initial core staff were from the countries of the British Commonwealth.
On the 1st of October, 1960 the hospital was handed over to the Federal Government and upon the creation of Lagos State on the 27th May 1967, the Hospital was taken over by the Lagos State Government. For over a century, it has rendered qualitative services to millions of patients, irrespective of race, creed, colour, social status, religion etc.