Anambra health commissioner applauds EU, WHO collaboration

The Anambra State Commissioner for Health, Dr Vincent Okpala has applauded the European Union for collaborating with the state in strengthening the health system.

Dr Okpala made the commendation yesterday, during Joint Emergency Preparedness Response (EPR) and Rapid Response Team (RRT) committee meeting in his office at the Jerome Udoji Secretariat Complex, Awka, the Anambra state capital.

The commissioner noted that the joint committee team would contribute significantly to improvements in the health status of its citizens through reduction and prevention of morbidity, mortality usually associated with recurring seasonal outbreaks in the state.

“It is naturally a good opportunity to be ready for emergencies and to have this committee that will plan, coordinate surveillance activities and resource mobilisation.

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“This committee needs to meet regularly in order to monitor, evaluate and review response plan when necessary.

“Having a committee like this is a good thing for healthcare in the state and we find some emergencies happening in the state that need urgent attention.’’

He noted that the last emergency in the state was flooding, which adversely affected some Local Government Areas.

Dr Okpala praised prompt interventions of the rapid response team to the flood-affected communities across the state, urging them to be proactive in keeping records.

Dr Chijioke Obagha, Anambra State Epidemiologist reminded the committee of their respective terms of reference.

Dr Obagha urged them to regularly attend meetings and to be ready to be always ton respond to emergencies in the state.

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Mr Ndubuisi Oji, EU/WHO Health System Strengthening Programme officer in the state said that EU in the past two years committed huge investments in Anambra State toward improving quality health information.

Mr Oji noted that EU played visible roles in two prominent intervention areas — in terms of capacity-building and provision of facilities in Anambra healthcare system.

The interventions were in areas of healthcare financing and integrated disease surveillance and response.

Dr Edward Okeke of WHO, in his goodwill message, said that Anambra had a structure to respond to emergencies.

Dr Okeke noted that WHO trained health workers both at state and local government levels.

He said that they also trained Disease Surveillance and Notification Officers on how to respond to an outbreak of cholera.

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