By Chizoba Okeke/Anastasia Agunwa/Abugu Gloria
Awka, Nov. 20, 2020 (MOI) Anambra State Government says it vaccinated no fewer than 5.5 million residents against Yellow fever during the 10-day yellow fever campaigns in the state.
Commissioner for Health, Dr Vincent Okpala made the disclosure during Budget Defence of the Ministry before the House of Assembly Committee on Health in Awka.
Dr Okpala said that the vaccination, which commenced on Oct. 30 took place in 19 Local Government Areas (LGAs), except Anambra West and Ayamelum LGAs because of flooding in the areas.
According to him the vaccinators visited public health facilities, educational institutions, Churches and village squares to ensure wide coverage.
“In two weeks we have been able to vaccinate no fewer than 5.5 million residents in 19 of the 21 LGAs in Anambra.
“We were not able to carry out vaccination in two LGAs Anambra West and Ayamelum LGAs because of flooding problems but we commenced on Nov.16.
“Our target is to vaccinate no fewer than 6 million residents and we hope to achieve that by the end of the exercise,’’ he said.
The commissioner lamented that the ministry had so far recorded about 15 per cent budget performance.
“2020 has not been a great year for the Ministry because of the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic.
“We as a Ministry have not able to achieve so much; we could not establish the trauma centre, cancer care centre and the drone facility for hospitals in the hinterlands as budgeted for in 2020.’’
Dr Okpala said that as at Nov.14, the state had carried out 7,224 COVID-19 pandemic tests with 3.9 per cent positive rate – 285 confirmed cases, 266 discharged and 19 deaths.
He said that the ministry budgeted ₦200 million for Malaria Control programmes.
“About a hundred million naira was budgeted in 2020 but it was not enough to address the malaria burden in the state. This prompted a budget increase of ₦200 million to ensure Anambra is free from malaria.
“An analysis of the government’s budget for some health programmes showed that it hoped to spend ₦20 million on Tuberculosis and Leprosy control programmes.
“The government has also budgeted ₦400 million for rehabilitation and re-equipment of the general hospitals in the state and ₦50 million for control programme on HIV/AIDs.
“It also budgeted ₦500 million for construction of standalone Micro Trauma Centre, ₦50 million for Family Planning Programmes and ₦20 million for Zero Hepatitis Programme.’’
Dr Okpala said that if the ₦6.8 billion budget for health in the 2021 proposed budget would be approved, it would assist the ministry in making up for lost grounds in the coming year.
Chairman, House Committee on Health, Dr Carter Umeh urged the ministry to ensure continued public enlightenment on COVID-19 to strengthen measures in preventing a resurgence of the disease. (MOI)