By Nnedinma C Okeke/Chukwudi Nwauba

Awka, March 12, 2021 (MOI) Anambra State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Vincent Okpala says the state government has done a lot to ensure that the COVID-19 pandemic has not wreaked havoc in the state as it has done in some Western countries.

He said this when a team comprising of the Anambra State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (ASPHCDA), the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA), and the World Health Organisation (WHO) paid him a courtesy visit.

The visit became necessary because of the COVID-19 vaccine introduction in the state.

He said: “while we review the activities of the past 12 months in the state, we are happy that we are looking at the last phase of the COVID-19 response. 

We have gone through the different stages of the Pandemic Response — the mitigation, preparation, response, and recovery that the vaccination brought.

I am glad that the vaccines arrived in the state and we are getting a lot of support from NPHCDA, WHO, and UNICEF,” he added.

The commissioner noted that Gov. Willie Obiano had taken this stage of response very seriously.

“As a matter of fact, we are doing this one as a family as that is the only way to win the fight against spread of the pandemic,” Dr Okpala said.

Executive Secretary, ASPHCDA, Dr Chioma Ezenyimulu noted that the essence of the visit was to debrief the commissioner on their activities so far as regarding the COVID-19 Vaccine Introduction.

“We are currently conducting a 2-Day State level training, where no fewer than 200 health workers are being trained on the COVID-19 vaccine introduction at both King David and Mich Royal Hotels.

“The training is being sponsored by NPHCDA and the trainees are expected to do a step down training at the LGA levels. 

“We shall also sensitise our people in Churches and communities in readiness to roll out the COVID-19 vaccines next week,’’ Dr Ezenyimulu explained.

She noted that the vaccination campaign would last for 10 days. 

“It is expected that frontline health workers will be the first to be vaccinated after which members of communities aged 60 and 50 years and above.

The South East Zonal Director, NPHCDA, Dr Eric Nwaze extended condolence to the state over the death of Dr Basil Nwankwo, CMD, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu Teaching Hospital, Amaku, who was a key stakeholder in Anambra State health system.

He noted that Anambra state as far as primary healthcare is concerned is one of the states the NPHCDA always liked to pride itself about.

“Things appear to be looking good here and it is inspired by the state’s leadership through the instrumentality of the state government.’’

Dr Nwaze, while thanking the health commissioner on behalf of the NPHCDA Executive Director, Dr Faisal Shuaib solicited for his support toward the COVID-19 Vaccine implementation in the state. 

“There is need for mobilisation of local resources by way of counterpart funding. The NPHCDA is funding, but there is need for state support, especially in the area of social mobilisation,’’ he explained. 

NPHCDA Monitor in charge of e-registration, Mrs Grace Samson noted that she was in the state to support and ensure that data would be effectively managed.

“The e-registration is a new intervention, where people are asked to register before they get vaccinated and this is for vaccine accountability and quality data.’’

Mrs. Samson then urged that people who receive the vaccine publicly announce it so that the populace would have confidence in accepting to take the vaccine.

Mrs. I O Dede of Universal Health Coverage Unit, WHO Office, Abuja who is also in the state to monitor the exercise said that the vaccine’s arrival was a plus to the state.

She, also, noted that WHO would continue to provide technical support to Anambra State and Nigeria as a whole. (MOI)

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