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Health Ministry Will Continue to Map Out Good Health Policy for Public to Benefit — Commissioner

By Chukwudi Nwauba/Nnedinma Okeke :

The Anambra State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Afam Obidike says his ministry will continue to map out good health policy for the public to benefit from across the state.

Dr. Obidike said that Gov. Charles Soludo’s mandate in the healthcare sector of the state is such that every health policy must be designed for the benefits of the people.

“Our governor is so much interested in the health policy that is impactful to Ndi Anambra both in urban and rural areas, especially hard to reach communities in the state.’’

The Commissioner said this while addressing Programme Coordinators and Programme Managers at the conclusion of a 2 day Annual Operational Plan (AOP), in Awka.

The donor Resilience and Sustainable System for Health (RSSH), through the National Agency for the Control of AIDS supported the state to organize the 2 day partner’s forum meeting.

He urged participants to ensure that they always come up with benefiting health programmes.

“One good reason for this type of meeting is that it will help us to work in one direction, our health partners will as well know the critical area they will support us.

The State Ministry of Health, Head Planning, Research and Statistics, Mrs. Edith Nwachukwu said that the state has done her own AOP few months ago, that the essence is for them to look at the 2024 work plan.

“Our partners have been presenting to us the activities for those that have their work plan available and what they intend to achieve in 2024.

“So, with this, what the partners have for the state will be harmonized in 2024 budget.’’ (Ministry of Information)

 The information officers report from, Awka.

Anambra Govt Distributes 120 Anti-shock Garments to Mission, General Hospitals

 By Chukwudi Nwauba :

The wife of the Anambra State Governor, Dr. Nonye Soludo has distributed 120 Anti-shock garments to Mission and General hospitals across the state to prevent maternal mortality.

Distributing the Anti-shock garments at the governor’s lodge, Amawbia, Dr. (Mrs.) Soludo said, “These garments will help to stop bleeding and ensure safe delivery in the state”.

She explained that the garment could keep a bleeding woman alive for 48 hours, and appealed to healthcare professionals to ensure that they use it judiciously so as to save lives.

“Records from the maternal mortality review meeting held in the state showed that 80 per cent of maternal deaths were as a result of bleeding also known as Postpartum Hemorrhage (PPH).

“PPH is heavy bleeding of a woman during or shortly after delivery and it is causing death among women. This is why we are distributing the anti-shock garments which is a low technology first aid device.

“Once bleeding has been identified, many women die before receiving adequate treatment. Therefore, the garment can be used to keep such women alive for 48 hours, if not she can bleed to death within 30 minutes.

“These are preventable deaths and again I urge our health personnel to put the anti-shock garments to use in order to reduce maternal mortality and as well ensure safe delivery in Anambra,’’ she said.

The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Afam Obidike, said that the state government was sustaining efforts to ensure that Anambra remained the lowest in terms of maternal mortality in the country.

Dr. Obidike said that the next phase of the anti-shock garments distribution would be to all the Primary Healthcare Centres in the state.

According to him, the garment is used to stabilize women who are suffering from obstetric bleeding and shock. It helps such women survive delays in getting to a hospital and getting the treatment that they need.

“This brand of garments can be reused for at least 144 times. Our goal is that no woman in Anambra should die as a result of preventable causes,’’ he said.

The State Reproductive Health Coordinator, Dr. Obianuju Okoye said that there would be training to upgrade the clinical capacities of health workers on the use of the anti-shock garments.

“State Government has provided to us everything needed for the training, we are waiting for all the hospitals that received the anti-shock garments to send details of the healthcare personnel to be trained.

Commending the government and the wife of the Governor on behalf of the benefiting hospitals, Dr. Francis Ifeaneme, Secretary, Nigerian Medical Association, Anambra chapter, assured that the garments would be used to save lives. (Ministry of Information)

 The information officer reports from the State Ministry of Health, Awka.

Governor Soludo Swears In Izuchukwu Okafor as Commissioner for Finance

Governor Charles Chukwuma Soludo (CFR) has sworn in Mr. Izuchukwu Okafor as the Anambra State Commissioner for Finance.

Mr. Governor congratulated and welcomed him to the Solution Team. He enjoined the new Commissioner to endeavour to periodically read the Oath of Office and Allegiance that he just took to constantly remind himself of his purpose in government. Governor Soludo informed him that he has just become a member of the team that will lay the foundation for a liveable and prosperous Anambra State, and asked him to contribute his quota.

The new Finance Commissioner, 39-year-old Izuchukwu Moses Okafor, was a former Senior Special Assistant (SSA) Finance and Audit to Governor Soludo from July 2022, and served as the Deputy Manager of Financial Operations and Audit at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) from July 2020 to June 2022.

He was appointed a Senior Supervisor, Internal Audit Department, of the CBN in November 2013, and he diligently discharged his duties until June 2017, after which he was elevated to the post of the CBNs Assistant Manager, Financial Operations Audit, from July 2017 to June 2022.

He has been a Member of, the Anambra State Executive Council Committee on Anambra State Legacy Debt from July 14, 2022.

Mr. Okafor was born on September 27, 1984. He was educated at Holy Child Secondary School, Isuofia, Aguata LGA where he earned his West African School Certificate (WASC) in 2004. He took his B.Sc. Accountancy in 2010 at the University of Abuja, and got an Advanced Diploma in Accounting and Business in 2022.

He is a Member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and a Certified Strategic Professional.

Mr. Okafor has attended more than a dozen seminars, trainings, and workshops on finance, accounting, and risk management techniques including ICT. He excelled as Effective Supervisory Manager in October 2021 at TOM Associates, Lagos, Fundamentals of Risk Management in June 2020 vide Risk Management Association of Nigeria, and SPSS in November 2009 at Afrihub ICT Solutions for Africa.

He is married to Chisom Faith Okafor with beautiful children.

Sir Paul Nwosu
Commissioner for Information
Anambra State

Building Anambra Into A Cultural Destination

By Ifeyinwa Ogwo :

In a resolute stride to build Anambra into a cultural destination and a preferred place to live, work, relax, and enjoy, two big state events – Anambra Arts and Crafts Mega Exhibition and Anambra Fashion Expo (AFE) were organized
The events were poised toward showcasing the rich, unique and outstanding talents of Ndi Anambra in the creative industry to the world and what it can offer to the state and the nation’s economy.

The Anambra Arts and Crafts Mega Exhibition, titled, ‘Organic Innovative Solutions for Economic Prosperity’ was packed with lots of exquisite, rare, unique, and latest artworks and crafts in the state and beyond, which provided an opportunity to highlight the state’s distinguished and exceptional status in the visual arts.

The exhibition, which was organized by the Anambra State Ministry of Culture, Entertainment and Tourism, in conjunction with the Society of Nigeria Artists (SNA) was held at the Oma Event Center (opposite Alex Ekwueme Square), Awka, from the 27th of September to 1st of October, 2023.

The event also featured a one-day colloquium on arts and crafts, on-the-spot blacksmithing, cultural performance, and choral rendition by the state’s Ministry of Culture, Entertainment and Tourism Choral Group.

The arrival of Mr. Governor, Prof. Charles Soludo CFR with his entourage to the scene, electrified the atmosphere and the mood of the exhibitors. It became glamorous when the Commissioner for Culture, Entertainment, and Tourism, Mr. Don Onyenji took the governor around each stand where he appreciated and patronized the works of the exhibitors.

On the other hand, the second edition of Anambra Fashion Expo, AFE2023, titled, ‘Creativity Unleashed’ also brought a spotlight to the state’s fashion sector. The event, which kicked off on the 6th of October at the International Convention Center (ICC), Awka, had models of different genders, ages, ethnicities and sizes gracing the runway.

The two-day event was poised toward showcasing the state’s creativity, diversity, and innovation in the fashion industry, through the participation of various brands from within and outside the state at the event. It also featured a musical performance steered by “Apate” an upcoming artist.

The governor, who was in attendance with his wife, Nonye, implied that the fashion expo demonstrated the interest of the state in the fashion industry, which has a notable impact on the economy and culture. He called on the youth and everyone in the state to explore every opportunity offered in the creative economy and patronize “Made in Anambra or Nigeria products” as a means to boost the economy.

On her part, the convener of the Project, Ms. Adaora Soludo of AORA Brand, added that the fashion expo is an opportunity aimed at fostering collaboration between participants in the industry.

The climax of the event was the doling out of a whooping sum of one million naira to FP Design for emerging the winner of the best fashion design creator in the competition organized during the event.

*Ogwo is of the Ministry of Information

SOMTEC Holds Review Meeting for 2023 August Women Meetings HPV Vaccination, Health Campaigns

By Uzo Ugwunze :

The Anambra State Social Mobilization and Technical Committee (SOMTEC), a United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF)-assisted project domiciled in the State Ministry of Information (MOI), has held a One-day Review Meeting with Field workers (FLWs) of 21 LGAs who embarked on the health campaign during the 2023 August Women Meetings.

The review meeting, which was held at the King David Hotel in Awka, was with Community Mobilization officers (COMOs) and Health Educators who were sensitizing 20 communities per LGA in Anambra State on healthy living in order to achieve positive Social Behavior Change (SBC) through women’s August meetings.

According to the SOMTEC Project Desk officer, MOI, Mrs. Grace Onwukwe, this Review meeting was supposed to be a planning and orientation meeting that ought to be held before the August meetings on health campaigns, but it was done online for the FLWs because they were already at the field when UNICEF gave the directive.

“The theme of the August meeting on sensitization includes the Human Papillomavirus vaccination campaign, which targets adolescent girls between the ages of 9 to 14 years in order to protect them before they become sexually active.

“Women should know the importance of the first 1000 days of a child, what a pregnant woman needs to do from conception till after delivery, the prenatal, antenatal, and postnatal periods, from conception to when the child is two years old.

“UNICEF has observed that the first 1000 days of a child’s life determine the child’s future. When a child is properly immunized, well-fed, and raised in a clean and healthy environment, with the birth registered, the child can be protected from violence or any other form of child abuse.

“The need to continue applying Essential family practices (EFPs) is also important to prevent avoidable sickness and deaths. These were communicated to the FLWs online, so we are here to review what they did and listen to the challenges they encountered during the sensitization,” Mrs. Onwukwe said.

The UNICEF Resource person, Mrs. Chineze George-Ileka, discussed the need for parents to allow their girl child between the ages of 9 to 14 years to receive the HPV vaccine, which was likely to commence in Anambra by 2024.

“Parents should allow their girl children between the ages of 9 to 14 years to receive the HPV vaccine before they become sexually active to protect them from HPV, cervical cancer, warts, and other related infections. 

“Prevention is better than cure. Parents should advice their children to avoid premarital sex and couples should maintain one sexual partner because keeping multiple sexual partners is dangerous.”

According to her, symptoms of HPV include virginal discharge, skin infection, and, in some cases, painful sex and the flow of blood. One with such symptoms should go for a smear test, a cervical cancer test, or see a professional health practitioner,” Mrs. George-Ileka said.

“Also wash your hands regularly with soap or ash under running water. Cross your fingers while handwashing, wash your nails, and wash up to your elbow. Critical times for hand washing include after visiting public places, before cooking, eating,, or breastfeeding your infant, after visiting the toilet, or after disposing of children’s faeces.

“Moreso, properly dispose of children’s faeces. Open defecation is harmful to health because flies that perch on excreta will find their way to your food. Encourage every household to use a latrine, pour-flush toilet, or water closet toilet, which should always be covered and washed regularly.

“Concerning environmental cleanliness, Keep the kitchen and surroundings clean. Wash kitchen utensils and cutlery before use because wall geckos may have licked them, and their saliva can cause death. Dispose of empty cans and dustbins to avoid breeding mosquitoes and rats.”

Mrs. George-Ileka further informed them to expect the introduction of the HPV vaccine in Anambra State, saying it was going to be free by the Federal Government.

Speaking on first 1000 days of a child, the Anambra State Health Educator, Mrs. Uju Onwuegbuzina, said that it starts from conception until the child’s second birthday. As soon as a woman misses her menstruation, she should register for antenatal

“Immunization continues till 2 years no more for 1 year. After delivery, the mother should do early initiation by breastfeeding the infant without removing the collostrum. Exclusively breastfeed the child for the first 6 months without water. After 6 months, breastfeeding continues with supplementary, complementary, and nutritional feeding until age 2,” said Mrs. Onwuegbuzina.

Moreover, the National Population Commission (NPC) Anambra State Director, TLP Joachim Ulasi encouraged the health workers at the facilities to help in proper documentation of registration of births, saying that only birth certificate or declaration of age issued by NPC remains the authorized, birth certificate in Nigeria.

“We have about 151 birth registration centres in Anambra located at health centres, palaces, Town halls, and LG Secretariats. It is an offense not to register the birth of your child. The NPC Birth Certificate is free, issued once in a lifetime, and for those under 18 years. Those over 18 years old are issued an Attestation of age after tendering their court affidavit. By September 1, 2023, the NPC will digitalize the process of documenting birth certificates”.

Women were also enlightened on the need for parents and guardians to be mindful about who they leave to look after their children or wards to avoid exposing unsuspecting minors to sexual molestation and paedophiles out of carelessness.

In his goodwill message, NOA State Director, Mr. Joe Uchendu, commeded the field workers for their efforts toward spreading information to enhance the health and wellness of Ndi Anambra, thanking UNICEF and other partners for leading the campaign for HPV vaccination.

Others in attendance include the UNICEF program officer, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Director, NPC Anambra State, Anambra State MOI Permanent Secretary and Directors of Information, Administration, and Account, State and LG Health Educators, NOA Community Mobilization Officers (COMOs) at all the 21 LGAs, and the media. (Ministry of Information)

The information officer reports from Awka

State Government Urged to Enhance Workers Welfare

Michael Ezenwata :

Workers in Anambra state filed out in their appreciable number at the Dr.Alex Ekwueme square Awka to celebrate their day.

Governor Chukwuma Soludo was present to reassure them about his administration’s commitment to enhance their welfare.

In a press statement at the venue of the celebration, the stare chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress Comrade Humphrey Nwafor expressed delight in the governor’s enlistment of  members of the congress to be part of the budgetary process in the state to enhance the revenue profile of the state.

The labour leader encouraged workers to continue to give their best in the discharge of their official responsibilities.

Comrade Nwafor used the forum to urge the governor to provide adequate security and more buses to workers to ensure their full presence at their work places on Mondays.

On his part,the state chairman ,Nigeria Union of Pensioners Comrade Anthony Ugozor expressed satisfaction over governor Soludo’s promise to look into the demands of workers in the state.

Comrade Ugozor further conveyed his delight in the clarification and ratification of Comrade Nwafor as the authentic NLC chairman in Anambra state.

Contributing,the former Vice Chancellor of Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University Professor Fidelis Okafor affirmed that workers globally deserve proper remuneration and not to be underpaid and abused by their employers.

A stakeholder in the defunct National Union of Road Transport Workers Union in the Southeast geopolitical zone Comrade Augustine Udeozor urged the Anambra state government to re establish the Union to assist the Anambra state government in sanitising motor parks in the state, and to assist in the raising of the revenue profile of the state.

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