Ministry of Health
01. OBIANO-REPOSITIONING THE HEALTH SECTOR IN ANAMBRA STATE
It was Thomas Adams in one of his famous quotes that said “Plan the town, if you like, but in doing it do not forget that you have got to spread the people. Make wider roads, but do not narrow the tenements behind. Dignify the city by all means, but not at the expense of the health of the home and the family life and the comfort of the average workman and citizen.”
Since Governor Willie Obiano took the mantle of leadership of Anambra State, he has demonstrated in clear terms his readiness to sustain the tempo of development in Anambra State. Through the Awka Capital Territory Development Authority (ACTDA), Governor Obiano is systematically transforming Awka into a model city. He is building roads and bridges. He is dignifying the city of Awka by building flyovers but not at the expense of the health of the home, the family and the comfort of the average citizen of Anambra State.
As a matter of fact, he is mindful of the fact that a healthy State is a wealthy one. Thus, he is repositioning the health sector in many significant ways. These include:
Projects continued from previous administration:
- Rehabilitation and Re-equipping of General Hospital, Umueri
- Rehabilitation and Re-equipping of General Hospital, Amanuke
- Rehabilitation and Re-equipping of General Hospital, Enugwu-Ukwu
- Rehabilitation and Re-equipping of General Hospital, Agulu
- Rehabilitation and Re-equipping of General Hospital, Nnokwa
- Rehabilitation and Re-equipping of General Hospital, Anaku
- Rehabilitation and Re-equipping of General Hospital, Ukpor
- Rehabilitation and Re-equipping of General Hospital, Umunze
- Construction of Students Hostel, Odumegwu Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital.
- Construction of Nurses Hostel, Odumegwu Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital, Amaku-Awka
- Construction and Equipping of Ten Maternity and Child Healthcare Centres in Ten Communities in collaboration with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation of the United States of America.
These health facilities are located in the following places:
Awba-Ofemili, Azigbo, Isseke, Okofia Nnewi, Umuchu, Ugwuagba Obosi, Urum, Umudioka, Umueje, Umunze.
Projects newly commissioned:
In other to achieve the three health related MDGs ( goals number 3, 4 and 5), three Maternal and Child Healthcare Centres were proposed by the state government for each of the three senatorial Zones in the state. In the South senatorial zone, the Ofuobi Comprehensive Healthcare Centre, Nanka which was ceded to Government by the community has been upgraded to a Maternal and Child Healthcare Centre. Consequently, a Life Saving Ambulance and other state of the Art medical equipment have been allocated to the facility to enhance its operations.
Renovation and Improvement of Service Delivery in Secondary Health Facilities.
- Renovation of Comprehensive Health Centre, Atani.
- Renovation of Staff Quarters, Comprehensive Health Centre, Nibo.
- Refurbishing and Equipping of Isolation Centre at OOUTH, Amaku-Awka.
- Procurement of Protective Equipment (PPE) for Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) Service Providers.
- Restoration of 24-Hour Service at General Hospital, Umueri.
- First Surgery was performed at the General Hospital, Umueri in 8 years.
- Acquisition of Land for the construction of new General Hospital at Umueze Anam, Nkwelle-Ezunaka and Eziagulu-Otu.
- Improved coverage in routine immunization.
- Quarterly Campaign for Maternal Newborn and Child Health.
- Regular Distribution of Long Lasting Insecticide Treated Mosquito Nets (LLINs) to Schools, Communities and Corporate Organizations.
- Successful Containment of the Ebola Virus Disease.
.Successful Containment of Diarrhea Disease in some parts of Anambra State in first quarter of 2014.
Public Private Partnership (PPP) in Medicare.
The State Government is partnering with Rise Health Corporation of the United States of America to improve the health sub-sector. The pilot phase of the programme has four hospitals for re-engineering and they include RISE clinic Adazi-enu, RISE clinic Onitsha, Orumba General Hospital which have been completed and commissioned, and Ossomala General Hospital.
Grant-In-Aid to Mission Hospitals:
In the spirit of PPP and for sustaining growth and development of the health sub-sector, the State Government disbursed the sum of N447,000.00 (Four Hundred and Forty Seven Million Naira) to the Catholic, Anglican and Pentecostal Missions in the first quarter of 2015.
Establishment of Sub-Diagnostic Centre, Onitsha
A state-of-the-art Diagonistic Centre was established through a PPP arrangement at the General Hospital, Onitsha to meet the supplementary health demands of Ndi Anambra.
Establishment of Emergency Management Medical Response Team
- Four Life Saving Ambulances, fitted with emergency medical equipment were procured.
- An Emergency Medical Response team has been put in place, thus, the state government successfully responded to a recent case of emergency at Omassi, within 2-hours of notice, on the event of clash with Fulani Cattle nomads.
- Two Escort life saving Ambulances were also procured by the state government as part of the Governor’s Entourage. The first of its kind in Nigeria.
- five water ambulances fitted with modern medical equipment were procured by the State Government for the riverine communities.
Medical Support to the Under-Privileged:
Within one year in office of His Excellency, Chief Willie Obiano’s administration, the state government has sponsored and paid hospital bills for more than 20 less privileged persons both within and outside the country to the tune of about one hundred million naira (N100,000,000.00).
Upgrade of General Hospitals and Specialist Hospitals:
- General Hospitals and Specialist Hospitals at Enugwu-Ukwu, Ekwulobia and Onitsha respectively have been selected for special upgrade to Specialist Hospitals. Rehabilitation works have commenced at General Hospital, Onitsha.
- Parcels of Land have been acquired for the construction of new General Hospitals at Umueze-Anam, Nkwelle-Ezunaka and Eziagulu-Otu.
- A Parcel of Land has also been acquired in Achalla Town, Awka North L.G.A. for the Construction of Centre for Infectious Disease Control.
A parcel of Land has been acquired in Awka Town, for the construction of the Head Quarters of the State Hospital Management Board, currently housed at the General Hospital, Enugwu-Ukwu, since the creation of Anambra State in 1991.
Recertification of Health Institutions:
- A committee on Recertification of Health Institutions in the state was inaugurated to improve the quality of the healthcare service delivery and eliminate quacks for sanity to prevail in the health system of Anambra State.
- Primary Health Care Development Agency.
Anambra state Primary Health care Development Agency:
Following the devolution of Primary Health Care (PHC) to Local Governments in 1990, PHC services have been jointly managed by multiple stakeholders. This vertical and horizontal fragmentation in the absence of clearly defined roles and responsibilities led to disorderliness in the management of the affairs of the Primary Healthcare Centres. The bill for Anambra State Primary Health Care Development Agency has been passed and signed into law by His Excellency, Chief Willie Obiano. This will strengthen the PHCs to offer basic helath of the peole.
- Renovation and equipping of the State Central Pharmaceutical Stores at Amaku-Awka.
- Establishment of State Quality Control and Drug Information Centre at Amaku-Awka.
Re-establishment of Drug Revolving Fund Scheme (DRF):
It is a process whereby Government provides adequate fund, for the initial procurement of required drugs and medical sundries in bulk and stores same at in State Central Store for purchase by the hospitals.
Accreditation of Institutions:
- School of Nursing Nkpor has been fully accredited
- Final MBBS accreditation of COOUTH College of Medical, Amaku-Awka has been successfully accomplished.
Constitution of Boards.
- Reconstitution of Traditional Medicine Board
- Reconstitution of Patient and Proprietary Medicine Board
- Constitution of State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA)
- Establishment of the Anambra State Drug Distribution Channels
With these modest achievements in only eighteen months in office and indeed many more to come, Governor Obiano is obviously heeding the advise of Thomas Adams as before now stated in the opening paragraph of this compilation. The onus is on Ndi Anambra to support and cooperate with him.
02. ANAMBRA PARTNERS ROCHE TO MARK WORLD HEPATITIS DAY
By Ebele Egoh
This year’s World Hepatitis Day was marked with an ‘Awareness Campaign Walk’ jointly organized by Anambra State Ministry of Health and Roche Products Limited. Flagging off the event at Awka South L.G.A secretariat, at Awmabia, the state Commissioner for Health, Dr Joe Akabuike noted that in 2015, the Federal Government released a National hepatitis policy emphasizing the need to institute Hepatitis programs in the country. The plan according to him was to focus on raising awareness, screening, prevention and treatment for viral hepatitis.
Commissioner Akabuike stated that Anambra state is proud to be among the first states in Nigeria to implement this policy as it partners with Roche Products Limited to embark on a statewide awareness program on Hepatitis’’. Other parts of this partnership, he added, include screening for hepatitis B and C, vaccination, and treatment for Chronic Hepatitis B. The partnership he noted will also help to improve the skill and ability of healthcare workers in the state to manage hepatitis using WHO best practices and bench mark for treatment.
For Akabuike, Hepatitis simply means a swelling of the liver which leads to permanent liver damage and failure which causes liver cancer. Hepatitis he said has various types and can be caused by various things, but the most dangerous types are Hepatitis B and C virus (HBV&HCV). “Statistics have shown that ‘‘hepatitis B is the primary cause of cancer of the liver and is responsible for about 60 percent of cause of liver cancer. Hepatitis B can lead to complications like liver fibrosis, liver cirrhosis and liver cancer.” He added that ‘‘in fact, liver cancer is the second leading cause of death due to cancer in Nigeria and is attributed mainly to Hepatitis B’’.
Hepatitis B is transmitted from mother to infant at birth and from an infected person to another by sharing contaminated needles, sharp instruments like razor etc. Hepatitis C is transmitted through transfusion of contaminated blood products, sexual transmission to mention a few.
03. ANAMBRA SAYS NO TO HEPATITIS
By Ebele Egoh
The Anambra state government has vowed to do everything within its reach to fight the scourge of Hepatitis in the state in order to save the lives of citizens who are likely not aware of their status.
This was disclosed by the state commissioner for Health, Dr. Joe Akabuike while addressing journalists during a Hepatitis Awareness Campaign Programme in Awka South Local Government secretariat. According to Dr Akabuike ‘‘Hepatitis simply means a swelling of the liver which leads to permanent liver damage and failure, which also causes cancer of the liver’’. Hepatitis is of various types and can be caused by various things; the most dangerous types are Hepatitis B and C caused by hepatitis virus (HBV&HCV).
He said that Hepatitis B primarily causes liver cancer which accounts for about 60% of cancer of the liver. Hepatitis B, he noted, can also lead to complications like liver fibrosis, liver cirrhosis and liver cancer adding that ‘‘liver cancer is the second leading cause of death in Nigeria and this is attributed mainly to Hepatitis B virus’’.
Earlier in his opening remarks to flag off the awareness campaign, Dr. Akabuike asserted that Hepatitis B is transmitted from mother to infant at birth and from an infected person to another by sharing contaminated needles, sharp instruments like razor etc. Hepatitis C is transmitted through transfusion of contaminated blood products, sexual transmission to mention a few.
He added that ‘‘over two billion people worldwide have come in contact with hepatitis B virus at one time or the other in their lives and it accounts for the death of over 700,000 people annually’’.
In Nigeria, 1 out of 10 people is infected with Hepatitis B virus, 1in 50 is infected with hepatitis C virus1and approximately 200,000 people die from the complications of CHB every year, the commissioner added.
In his own contribution during the flag off the ‘Hepatitis Awareness Walk’, the Country Manager, Roche Products. Limited, Mr. Herman Addea affirmed that his company deemed it necessary to partner Anambra State government in creating awareness and fighting the scourge of Hepatitis in the State. He said government alone cannot surmount the challenges and burdens of the health sector but with support of corporate organizations, like Roche government could heave a sigh of relief. Mr. Addea debunked insinuations making the rounds about the mode of transmission of the hepatitis virus, asserting that hepatitis is not transmitted by shaking hands, hugging, sharing clothes, sharing office space and classrooms.
The highlight of the event was free testing for hepatitis and counselling of people that tested positive to hepatitis virus. This was preceded by a sensitization walk that took off from Awka South LGA Secretariat through Amawbia roundabout, by Zik’s Avenue, Awka .
MEDICAL EXPERT SPEAKS ON BENEFITS OF FRUITS INTAKE
04. MEDICAL EXPERT SPEAKS ON BENEFITS OF FRUITS INTAKE
By Michael Ezenwata
An Awka based medical expert, Dr. Ernest Ifebi says the secret of longevity lies in the intake of fruits.
Dr. Ifebi in a press release on the health benefit of fruits noted that the daily intake of an apple takes the doctor away.
According to him, the practice reduces the risk of breast cancer by nineteen percent, pancreatic cancer by twenty three percent, and the risk of colon and liver cancers.
He further noted that oranges contain high amount of vitamin C which protects ones heart, skin kidney, and viral diseases.
For mango, the medical expert said that it boosts the memory, and helps regulate sex hormones and boost sex drive.
Dr. Ifebi further stated that Guava helps to reduce the risk of prostate cancer in men, while water lemon helps in reducing the severity of asthma, heart diseases and rheumatoid arthritis.
05. MINISTRY OF HEALTH INAUGURATES ANAMBRA STATE EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES
By Ebele Egoh
The State Ministry of Health has inaugurated an Integrated Anambra State Emergency Medical Services(EMS) aimed at rapid response to emergencies in the state.
Inaugurating the IASEMS in his office, in Awka, the Honourable Commissioner for Health Dr Joe Akabuike emphasized the need to have a well-coordinated emergency response unit that will synergistically work with various agencies of government and NGOs in responding to emergencies such as fire outbreak, road accidents, building collapse among others.
According to Akabuike, the inauguration of the EMS is imperative given the spate of uncoordinated response to previous emergence situations in the state. ‘’ It is also in line with the National Emergency Medical Services Policy which the Ministry needs to domesticate’’ Akabuike declared. The IASEMS team comprises State Ministry of Health, SEMA, FRSC, Armed Forces , Police, Fire Service, Civil Defence, NDLEA, Private Organisations Operating Ambulances or Hearse Services, Teaching Hospitals in the state, representatives from Mission Hospitals and others.
Dr. Akabuike stated that ‘‘The synergy among these institutions in times of emergencies will help to reduce the rate of death when accident occurs in the state. Explaining further, the Health Commissioner said that ,there will be a coordinating unit at SEMA with a toll-free call number which members of the public will call to report emergencies and to alert other units to dispatch ambulances and other needed facilities to the scene of the accident or emergency’’.
Akabuike stressed that the state will select Trauma Centers, State Hospitals and Mission Hospitals that will be charged with this service under the aegis of the State Ministry of Health, while training and retraining of workers and service providers that will be involved in the EMS will soon commence . He said that as part of an effective emergency coordination, the public would be sensitized on the need to access the services of EMS via various media of communication.
06. SOML DONATES 20 UNITS OF REFRIGERATORS TO ASPHCDA
Saving One Million Lives Programme for Results (SOML P for R) .has donated 20 units of refrigerators to Cold Chain Unit under the Anambra State Primary HealthCare Development Agency –ASPHCDA for the preservation of Immunization vaccines in Anambra State.
Speaking during the hand-over ceremony of the refrigerators to ASPHCDA at Chukwuemeka Odimuegwu Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital, Amaku, Awka, the State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jeo Akabuike charged the recipients to make good use of the equipment and ensure that the purpose for which they are provided are effectively carried out. He also advised the health workers in the unit to be more committed to their work and always inform him of any challenge encountered in course of discharging their duties.
Dr. Akabuike while stressing the importance of immunization in the State health sector stated that Cold Chain Unit plays a special role in the sustainability of the immunization programmes. He said that health intervention through immunization has helped to reduce the mortality and morbidity of children that would have been affected by immunizable diseases such as measles, tuberculosis among others; as prevention is better than cure. ‘‘The actual road part to healthy living is Immunization as it is the Immunization status of a child would determine what the child would be tomorrow’’, he added.
Responding to the Commissioner’s charge, the Executive Secretary, Anambra State Primary HealthCare Development Agency, Dr Chioma Ezenyimulu represented by the Head Immunization and Disease Control of ASPHCDA, Dr John Ndibe promised that the equipment would be put to proper use as the vaccines would get to the users in optimum condition.
Dr. Ndibe appreciated the Saving One Million Lives(SOML) Programme, adding that the project would achieve all the indicators so that Anambra State would continue to benefit in future.
Saving One Million Lives Programme for Results is an initiative of Federal Government-led intervention effort focused at improving maternal and child health through a result-based partnership with States’ Ministries of Health.
The programme, which is being funded from a N140 billion Naira ($500 million) credit that had been negotiated by the Federal Government with World Bank, from which $1.5 million was disbursed to states and the FCT as grants, sought to deliver high impact, evidence-based and cost effective health interventions based on six pillars.
The pillars of SOML P for R are maternal, newborn and child health, childhood essential medicines and increasing treatment of important childhood diseases, improving child nutrition, immunization, malaria control and elimination of mother to child transmission of HIV. The programme is also based on an approach to structure the flow of resources to pay for results, which are desired goals, outcomes and impacts rather than simply paying for processes or reimbursing activity costs.
07. ANAMBRA TRAINS HEALTH WORKERS ON EPIDEMIC PREPAREDNESS
To be on the guard giving the spate of Lassa fever and other epidemics outbreak in some parts of the country, the Anambra state Ministry of Health has organised a-one day training for its health professionals and facilitators across the 21 local government areas of the state. The training was organized to sensitise the health workers on the safety and preventive measures on epidemic and response as well as their respective roles in the management of epidemics in the state.
Speaking during the event, Director Public Health in the Ministry, Dr. Emmanuel Okafor, remarked that the workshop was meant to educate the participants on the safety precautions to employ and the usage of relevant and modern equipment involved in the treatment of a certain ailments in case of any outbreak.
He decried the old attitude of some health workers in handling infectious diseases and epidemics, which make them vulnerable to contacting such ailments, adding that ‘‘ participants will be enlightened on infection control, their roles and that of the government in epidemic control and highlights of key disease surveillance steps’’ .He lamented that, ‘‘ At times, people don’t understand what they are doing, if there is an infection or outbreak of epidemics, they use their bare hands in cleaning blood and stitching wounds which is risky and in some health centres, there is no isolation wards and so on”.
Okafor, however noted that the health workers are major stakeholders in the disease surveillance, detection, control and management of epidemics in their various communities. For this singular reason, ‘‘health ministry considered it important to sensitise them so they can be in position to detect any incident of epidemic outbreak, manage and respond appropriately’’ he added.
In their respective remarks, Rose Onyibe, the WHO zonal coordinator ,the State Vice-chairman of Red Cross Society of Nigeria, Professor Emeka Katchy; the Chief Medical Director of UNIZIK clinic, Patrick Ezeno, and a facilitator, Jane among other participants commended the ministry of Health for organising the training programme, which they described as timely.
08. Anambra Sensitizes Workers on outbreak of Epidermic..
By Chris Chikelue
A one day training programme on curbing lassa fever and other epidemics scourge, which brought together health experts across Anambra State has ended in Awka.
The training which attracted health experts from all the 21 local government areas of the State was organized he Ministry of Health to sensitize health workers on their safety and the control of epidemic outbreak in the State.
The Director of Public Health in the Ministry Dr. Emmanuel Okafor while addressing the participants said that the workshop was meant to elucidate on the precautions to employ and the usage of relevant modern equipment in controlling any outbreak.
Dr. Okafor condemned what he termed the old attitude of handling infectious diseases cum epidemic with little or no protection which leaves the health workers exposed to contacting the diseases. He added that the participants will be enlightened further on the training and the responsibilities of government in the controlling epidemic outbreak.
Participants who were drawn from the World Health Organization (WHO), Red Cross Society, The Nnamdi Azikiwe University Clinic and the state ministry of Health all agreed that the programme was timely