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Anambra applauds NMA supports for health sector



 ANAMBRA State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Vincent Okpala, has applauded the contribution and support of the State Chapter of Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) the state healthcare. 

  Okpala made the commendation while flagging off the NMA 2021 Physicians’ week in Awka. 

 “We express our gratitude for the support the state received from NMA; and Gov. Willie Obiano is happy as he appreciates your support too. Your continued support in the pre and intra-pandemic is unbelievable. 

  “I remember that in one of the NMA trainings, capacities were built on Infection Prevention Control (IPC) and the preparedness of healthcare providers. 

“You people did a lot to support the state in getting ready to address the pandemic; we remain eternally grateful because when the pandemic started you didn’t run away. 

“I remember some states where patients were sent to hospital, doctors failed to attend to them but that didn’t happen here in Anambra,” he said. 

The commissioner noted that the engagement and academic discussion with the association helped the state to manage the pandemic more than any other state in the country. 

He explained that the Obiano administration had done well in healthcare, especially in laying the foundation for sustainability. 

“Our goal was to make the state a medical tourist haven, we may not have achieved that but we made significant impact to the standing foundation. 

“In health system strengthening, I am excited that the theme of this year’s event is:           “Strengthening the Healthcare System in the Post COVID-19 Era. 

 “When you talk about healthcare without a systemic approach to solving healthcare problems, then, we can’t go anywhere,” he said.  

Okpala emphasised that the six building blocks of a good healthcare delivery system include, availability of essential medication, healthcare financing, workforce, data management, Service delivery, governance/leadership. 

He noted that healthcare financing to be one of the most important in the six building blocks of achieving good healthcare service delivery. 

According to him, Anambra is focused on healthcare financing and one of the first states in Nigeria to organise studies in 2018 on health financing, which helped the state to set up a Health Insurance Agency (ASHIA). 

“Looking at the prevalence, sociological study on COVID-19 there’s no other state that did a study but we believe that research, data drives planning and we currently have a Data Operation Centre in the ministry.     

“The centre helps us to take a look at happenings around the state and with real time information about what is happening in different health facilities. 

“We appeal to NMA to as well feed us with information, if you have the indicators feeding us every month together we will have a robust health system. 

  “The theme of the event is good because if we are able to strengthen the healthcare system then this place will become a medical tourism haven.”

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