ANAMBRA State has carried out critical interventions that has established it as leaders in healthcare delivery, a top official in the health sector has observed.
Gov. Willie Obiano said this at flag-off of Meningitis `A’ (Men A) vaccine which was introduced into Routine Immunisation (RI).
The flag-off was held at Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Centre, Amawbia, Awka South Local Government Area (LGA).
He noted that the government had established Anambra State Health Insurance Scheme, a policy where people could pay a little amount of money for quality healthcare services.
“This is a way of strengthening the health sector and making health services accessible to Ndi Anambra irrespective of their level of income.”
The governor, who was represented by Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr John Ogochukwu Ndibe urged Ndi Anambra to support the policy and register with the Health Insurance Agency.
“It is cheap, as for a little amount of money, you are guaranteed quality healthcare services.”
He noted that the present administration made tremendous efforts and achieved great improvements in health establishments across the state.
“If you go to General Hospital, Onitsha, a lot of things are happening there. Also in Amaku Teaching Hospital, Awka, equipment have been purchased to make the services there of high quality.
“We support immunisation which has led us to launch the inclusion of Men A vaccine into routine immunisation,” he added.
He, then, commended the efforts of partners including World Health Organisation (WHO), United Nation International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA).
“They have been ensuring that immunisation gets to children, especially those under 5, who are more vulnerable.”
Executive Secretary, Anambra State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (ASPHCDA), Dr Chioma Ezenyimulu said immunisation remained the corner stone in preventing most infectious diseases, especially in children.
“This is with regards to childhood killer diseases. It contributes significantly to the improvement of maternal and child health indices with respect of vaccine preventable diseases. ”
Dr Ezenyimulu who was represented by Head, Disease Control and Immunisation Department, ASPHCDA, Dr Placid Nnamdi Uliagbafusi noted that NPHCDA played significant roles in making immunisation services available to Nigerian children.
To further protect our children and improve their health status in our country, NPHCDA is introducing Men A vaccine into RI schedule nationwide in August.
It was introduced to prevent Meningitis infection in children under 5. Prevention, they say is better than cure.
The vaccine is given as a single dose injection to children at nine months and can be extended to 15 months in RI schedule,” she added.
The executive secretary said that Anambra State had officially joined the nation to announce the vaccine introduction in Nigeria and the state in particular.
She, then, thanked the Government and partners for support and strong political will toward the agency.
Chairman, Awka South LGA, Mr Leo Nwuba said that the Men A vaccine to be introduced into routine immunisation scheduled nationwide was a step forward in improving health status of children.
He thanked the Anambra State Government for its interest in healthcare of its citizens which according to him translates into timely release of funds for health development in the state.
Mr Nwuba also expressed gratitude to donor agencies/partners for technically and financially supporting healthcare system development in the state.
WHO, State Consultant, Dr Chukwumuanya Igboekwu noted that for ASPHCDA to get to this stage, they had facilitated training of health workers that would be handling the vaccine.
“A week ago the agency conducted a state level training and also progressed to LGA level training.
“With the success of the trainings and arrival of the vaccines, all logistics have been put in place by the state for this launch of Men A vaccine into RI.
Dr Igboekwu said that WHO and other partners like UNICEF would continue to be committed in supporting the state.
“This will not only be in the area of routine immunization but also in other aspects of strengthening the healthcare system.
“WHO is ready to partner all tires of government to ensure that the health and wellbeing of our children and the general population is guaranteed,” he added.
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