Anambra State has carried out critical interventions that have established it as leader in healthcare delivery, in Nigeria.
The Governor of Anambra State, Willie Obiano, said this at the flag-off of Meningitis `A’ (Men A) vaccine which was introduced into Routine Immunisation (RI), held at Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Centre, Amawbia, Awka South, Local Government Area.
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 noting that it is a way of strengthening the health sector and making health services accessible to the people of the State irrespective of their level of income.
The Governor, who was represented by Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr. John Ogochukwu Ndibe, urged the people to support the policy and register with the Health Insurance Agency.
He noted that the present administration made tremendous efforts and achieved great improvements in health establishments across the State.
Governor Obiano disclosed that at both General Hospital Onitsha and Amaku Teaching Hospital, Awka, equipment have been purchased to make the services there of high quality.
He also pointed out that his administration also supports immunization, which has led to the launch of the inclusion of Men A vaccine into routine immunization.
Executive Secretary, Anambra State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (ASPHCDA), Dr Chioma Ezenyimulu said immunization remained the corner stone in preventing most infectious diseases, especially in children and pointed out that 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 the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) played significant roles in making immunization services available to Nigerian children.
She disclosed that to further protect children and improve their health status in the country, NPHCDA is introducing Men A vaccine into RI schedule nationwide in this August, noting that it is introduced to prevent Meningitis infection in children under 5.
The Executive Secretary also disclosed that Anambra State had officially joined the nation to announce the vaccine introduction in Nigeria and the State in particular; and thanked the Government and donor 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 immunization 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.
World Health Organization, 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.
Dr Igboekwu said that WHO and other partners like UNICEF would continue to be committed in supporting the State, noting that it will not only be in the area of routine immunization but also in other aspects of strengthening the healthcare system.
He pointed out that World Health Organization (WHO) is ready to partner all tires of government to ensure that the health and wellbeing of children and the general population is guaranteed.
PEO I (Information)/ Head of Centre,