By Ifeyinwa Ogwo

Awka, Dec. 3, 2020 (MOI) No fewer than 175 staff members of the Ministry of Diaspora Affairs, Indigenous Artworks, Culture and Tourism have received free medical healthcare from Beacon of Hope Outreach.

The Beacon of Hope is a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), based in the U.S.

The free healthcare programme, which was the brainchild of the Anambra Government, was executed by Commissioner for Diaspora Affairs, Indigenous Artworks, Culture and Tourism, Dr Christian Madubuko, for workers in the ministry.

The exercise has a theme: “A Productive Ministry Begins with a Healthy Workforce’’, was carried out at Jerome Udoji Secretariat Conference Hall, Awka.

The free healthcare services given to the staff members included checking of blood pressures and blood sugar levels.

Drugs and other disease-preventive materials were given to the participants

In a speech at the event, Dr Madubuko said that the programme was aimed at improving the health conditions of the workers in the Ministry.

“When you maintain a healthy body, you maintain a healthy workforce and a healthy workforce makes for effective and efficient productivity.

“This programme is in tandem with Gov. Willie Obiano’s support for workers’ welfare in the state.

“We have set the pace for other ministries to emulate. Those who have access to such programmes should execute it to the benefit of their staff members.

“We also intend to make this exercise a continuing programme,” he said.

Commissioner for Health, Dr Vincent Okpala, thanked the medical team for coming to Anambra to conduct the free healthcare exercises.

He revealed that Anambra maintained the lowest COVID-19 pandemic infection rate in the Southeast because of proactive measures, being taken by the state government to curtail the spread of the disease.

“We started the awareness campaigns and preventive measures for curtailing the spread of COVID-19 pandemic in good time. And we sensitised people on the dangerous effects of the virus.’’

According to him, the state has a COVID-19 testing machine at the Odumegwu Ojukwu General Hospital and the Onitsha General Hospital.

The programme Consultant, Dr Philip Ume-Ezeoke, noted that good health was important to human beings and should be taken seriously.

He enjoined people to protect themselves always, practice good hygiene at home and ensure they conduct regular body check up.

“Do not prevent yourself from benefiting from this exercise. Take your health to heart because early detection saves lives,’’ he said.

He pointed out that they had conducted free medical healthcare in Imo, Delta, Rivers and Edo states.

The founder, Beacon of Hope Outreach USA, Lady Celestine Ekezie urged people to imbibe the habit of washing their hands regularly.

“Wash your hands thoroughly and teach your children how to wash their hands properly because it is through the hands that we contract a lot of diseases,’’ she said.

She lauded the state government for approving the free medical healthcare for her staff members, noting that a healthy body breeds healthy society.

The Acting Director of Tourism, Mr Emma Umeokana, thanked the medical team for their commitment and efforts in educating the staff members on good health practices. He commended the commissioner for initiating the programme for the staff members, advising them to eat wisely and engage in physical exercises so as to help them to maintain good health. (MOI)

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