Obiano Commissions Facilities at COOUTH Awka

… Flags-Off Second Dose of COVID-19 Vaccination

By Chioma Ndife

Anambra State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano, has commissioned some notable projects at Chukwuemeka Odumegu Ojoukwu University Teaching Hospital, Awka in a bid to facilitate and promote health care delivery in the State.

The projects commissioned last Tuesday, August 31, included an ultra-modern Mother and Child Referral Centre built by Chevron LTD; Dialysis Centre; private ward and 64 slide CT scan put up by the Anambra State Government.

Speaking at the commissioning of the projects, Gov. Willie Obiano appreciated the Chevron group for erecting the edifice for Child and Maternal Health Care, noting that it would assist the state in ensuring that maternal death was brought to zero. He reminded Anambrians about the importance of enrolling with ASHIA and highlighted the benefits which the people could draw from such enrollment. He explained that the idea behind the establishment of ASHIA was to provide accessible and affordable health care system to the people.

Governor Obiano disclosed that the state was able to access one percent of Nigerian Fund for Primary Healthcare Development Agency due to its enrollment in ASHIA and urged more people to come onboard ASHIA’s platform as there were numerous benefits accruing from it. He maintained that the introduction of Keke ambulance and its deployment to hard-to-reach areas of the state about a year and half ago had impacted greatly in health delivery in the hinterlands.

He maintained that renovation of about 126 wards and introduction of a dialysis centre for those with kidney problems would assist the state government to achieve its dream of bringing healthcare service to the door steps of the people, saying that the new private wards were built and equipped with ultra-modern equipment to prevent frequent overseas health travels.

The 64 Slide CT scan, according to Obiano, would make it easier for those seeking such service as it would reduce the cost and time of embarking on long distance travel.

Flagging-off the second phase of COVID-19 vaccination, the State Governor said that Modena and AstraZeneca drugs had been provided for use and called on the people of the state to avail themselves the opportunity of being vaccinated, noting that the vaccine boosted one’s immunity.

He disclosed that he had been vaccinated and confirmed that no one would be harmed by the vaccine and urged people to observe the COVID-19 protocol even after being vaccinated.

Handing over the building to the state government, Chevron representative, Arch. Seyi Orenuga, revealed that the project started in 2018 and would serve to care for the maternal child health. He noted that Chevron group ensured that the project met all the international standards according to best practices across the globe.

He said that design of the building took into consideration environmental issues such as ventilation, lighting and environmental conduciveness of the patients and health workers alike.

Speaking on the success recorded by the state in its fight against COVID-19, the Executive Secretary of Anambra State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr. Chioma Ezenyimulu, stated that over 60, 000 persons in the state had been vaccinated, cutting across 98 percent of the target population.

He noted that the agency achieved the feat with AstraZeneca vaccine to control the spread of the deadly virus.

Dr. Ezenyimulu who made the disclosure at the flag-off, spoke of COVID-19 second vaccination phase, disclosing that the state had fully been engaged in every step of the process following the guideline of the Federal Ministry of Health, Nigerian Centre for Disease Control and National Primary Health Care Development Agency. He said that a large percentage of people affected by the disease had recovered.

She said that the donation of AstraZeneca and Modena Vaccine from the US Govt had greatly reduced the spread of the virus and revealed that it would be shared in half to serve two doses per client, giving six weeks apart.

She called on Ndi Anambra, aged 18 and above, to turn out en-mass for the second stage of the exercise as the agency would be using Modena Vaccine made available by the state’s development partners. She advised those who received the first dose to go for the second.

Contributing, the State Coordinator of World Health Organization, Dr. Chukwumuanya Igbekwu, said the flag-off of the second phase of the vaccination was to complement the efforts geared at curtailing the spread of COVID-19, saying that the state had made tremendous success in other important pillars.

He said that Anambra was among states with the lowest mortality due to the pandemic and attributed it to the efforts of the team led by the State Commissioner for Health.

He reaffirmed that the vaccines were safe and charged influential personalities in different communities to keep educating others on the need to get vaccinated.

He disclosed that WHO had supported various countries of the world, including Nigeria, noting that they made the transportation of the vaccine possible and were committed to supporting the state to ensure that the vaccines were administered to the masses.

He said that the implementation of the vaccination would be supported by WHO and commended Gov Obiano for his support to health partners.

Igbekwu said that WHO was interested in the revitalization of primary healthcare services, saying that more resources should be devoted to it as it would help to solve the problems facing healthcare delivery in the state.

For their part, the State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Vincent Okpala, and the Chief Medical Director of COOUTH, Awka, Dr. Joe Akabuike, reaffirmed the commitment of various health agencies in the state to ensuring quality health delivery.