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By Grace Onwukwe 

Awka, July 16, 2021 (MOI) Anambra state has played host to UNICEF Enugu Field Office health partners’ proposal development and mid-year review meeting. 

The 2-day meeting was flagged off by the Anambra State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Vincent Okpala on behalf of Gov. Willie Obiano at Best Western Melock Hotel, Awka on July 12.

Dr. Okpala who welcomed the participants to the state expressed gratitude for the support of the state from UNICEF.

He lamented the unfortunate new strain of COVID-19, COVID-Delta which is more virulent,  noting the offtake in the activities against the new strain of the virus in Lagos State.

He commended the efforts of the participants in the fight to ensure the good health of the people.

He urged them to always present a common front in their various states as well as support their leadership so that things will go on well.

Officer in Charge, UNICEF Enugu Field Office, Mamita Bora-Thakker in the letter of invitation to the meeting noted that UNICEF is committed to promoting the rights of children to survival, protection, development, and participation.

“It is in furtherance of this mandate that we have undertaken the responsibility of providing support to states in Nigeria to strengthen health systems and support states in improving on health indicators.”

The meeting offered the health partners an opportunity to review the state’s performance of key program indicators from January to June as well as plan for health programs from July to December. 

It also helped the group to achieve a consensus on the strategies for strengthening the states’ health programmes and to formulate strategies that would facilitate programme implementation for states.

In his lecture titled ‘Communication for Health programs, Routine Health Services’, Dr. Hilary Ozor stressed the need for health partners to always involve the Communication for Development (C4D) group in their programmes for adequate awareness creation. 

Dr. Ozor, a C4D Specialist maintained that C4D group would ensure proper sensitization of the people at the grassroots for maximum effect of the programmes.

UNICEF Desk Officer, Anambra State Ministry of Information and Public Enlightenment, Mrs Chineze George-Ileka pointed out that poor social mobilization resulted in a low turnout of people during the first phase of COVID-19 vaccination.

She added that sensitization of the people by the social mobilization group would help to dispel rumours and negative assumptions about the COVID-19 vaccination especially for the upcoming phase of the second dose.

States in attendance include Abia, Anambra, Enugu, and Imo. (MOI)

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