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In Anambra, healthcare agencies hold orientation for newly recruited midwives

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By Nnedinma C Okeke

Under the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund (BHCPF), the Anambra State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (ASPHCDA) in collaboration with National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) organised a 5-day orientation exercise for 60 newly recruited midwives.

The exercise, which was held in Awka, took place from May 17 to May 21.

The Commissioner, Ministry of Health, Vincent Okpala urged the participants to pay attention to the lectures so as to avoid making costly mistakes at work.

Dr Okpala was represented by the permanent secretary, Mr Linus Nwankwo.

The commissioner said that the duties of the newly recruited were important and critical to the state, stressing why they were employed at this point in time.

“We depend a lot on the activities at those health centres where you will be posted to work so you must be there and do the job that is expected of you.’’

ASPHCDA, Board Chairman, Josephat Ogbuagu, declaring the programme open, noted that they had qualified and capable facilitators that could impart the needed knowledge to the newly recruited officers.

While urging them to take the training seriously, Prof. Ogbuagu noted that the knowledge gained would aid them to function effectively and optimally in their places of primary assignments.

Executive Secretary, ASPHCDA, Dr Chioma Ezenyimulu, while expressing delight at the orientation said the ASPHCDA, Anambra State Health Insurance Agency (ASHIA) and the Ministry of Health were the three key players in BHCPF.

“We are happy that BHCPF made a provision for us to fill some of our human resource gaps through engagement of midwives.

“This is why 60 of you have been carefully selected and you have to take your jobs with utmost sense of responsibility.

“We had no fewer than 700 applicants for this job you have today. We had to do the written interviews in two batches after which we did the oral interview of which you were successful.

“I urge you to give it your best shot as this is not the job you will take up and have another job somewhere else, we will find you out.

“This job has to be taken seriously because of the human resource gap that you will be filling at the Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) which is your primary responsibility,’’ the Executive Secretary emphasised.

She, then, informed them about the functions of the agency, including its relationship with the board, while commending the Health Commissioner for his untiring efforts in the health sector.

She also expressed gratitude to Gov. Willie Obiano for ensuring that Anambra State qualified for the BHCPF and for always making health a priority in his administration.

Dr Valentine Obijekwu, Team Leader Human Resources for Health (HRH)/National Emergency Maternal Child Health Intervention Centre (NEWCHIC), NPHCDA noted that they came to support the state to drive implementation of having skilled birth attendants at PHCs.

“Over the years, the government looked at models to ensure availability of skilled birth attendants at health facilities and universally adopted the BHCPF platform for funding mechanism reasons being that we have financial support through the consolidated revenue.

“This is a serious business; we appreciate you and want you to be there to do the work as there are mechanisms called midwife performance management framework which will be put in place to track you.

“There are people working where you will be posted to already, so there is a need for you to work in harmony with them and as a professional, do not go beyond your limits,’’ he advised.

Dr Obijekwu said the job was a stepping stone for the newly recruited and the fundamental thing was to see reduction of mother and child mortality at the grassroots.

South East Zonal Coordinator, Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria, Mr Alexander Eze, thanked NPHCDA for their interest in the nursing profession.

He noted that they were to engage persons who had passed through training and registered as nurses and midwives as stipulated by Nursing and Midwives Council of Nigeria.

“My core duty in this exercise is to screen and ensure the employees are midwives recognised by Nursing and Midwives Council of Nigeria.

“This is because, we have to be sure that the person answering the midwife at the health facility is actually a midwife as their role is for themselves, the community, government and the council.

“This means you have to practice within the boundary of what you are trained to do and be professional at all times,’’ he explained.

Mr Eze encouraged the participants to put in their best, see the exercise as expecting something greater from their profession and not to neglect the job.

A participant of the exercise, Mrs Juliet Ifechukwu Obiajulu noted that the training has exposed them to a lot of things that they were unaware of.

“We are learning, unlearning and relearning. It has prepared/equipped us to go out to the field and bring the desired change in reduction of maternal and child mortality and morbidity in Anambra, Nigeria and the world at large,’’ she said.

The participant commended the state government for making Anambra to benefit from the BHCPF which has given them the opportunity to serve their community, state and nation.

“We also appreciate the ASPHCDA and NPHCDA for sending good facilitators to impact the right knowledge in us. We promise to put our best in the job and not to let them down,’’ she said.

Among the methods used for the orientation exercise/training were pre and post test, power point presentation, and group work and brainstorm sections.

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