Anambra Government has organised special training for senior health officials on the basic procedures for the handling of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) emergency.
Dr Onyeka Ibezim, the Managing Director of Anambra State Oxygen Production Plant and Special Adviser to the Governor on Indigenous Medicine, was the Chief Facilitator of the exercise held in Awka on Sunday.
The training was aimed at getting the officers prepared ahead of any possible identification of coronavirus case with a view of ensuring the officials remain safe while doing the job.
Ibezim said that with the threat of the coronavirus pandemic, it was imperative for states to train front line health officers who were in regular touch with the communities on how to use oxygen and other medical equipment.
He noted that oxygen was a critical equipment for the treatment of victims of any respiratory ailment, saying that health officials must be properly equipped on its usage.
Ibezim commended the foresight of Gov. Willie Obiano in establishing the Oxygen plant at Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu Teaching Hospital, Amaku-Awka.
He said though the state was not wishing that it record any case of the coronavirus but having an oxygen plant in place was a huge asset to the state.
Earlier, the State Commissioner for Health, Dr Vincent Okpala, said in the course of Lassa fever outbreak, Anambra developed a procedure which was adjudged very comprehensive by experts.
He urged the participants to replicate the same procedure in the event of any case of the coronavirus in the area.
“You have been told what to do when a patient arrives the facility. Whether or not he has fever, cough or shortness of breath?
“If any reported case has prevailed for a period of 14 days? If the patient returned from any country worst hit by the pandemic? And whether he has been in contact with a facility where COVID-19 case was treated?
“If answers to these were in the affirmative, you are advised to put the patient in a separate room with a face mask and get in touch with the experts,’’ Okpala told the participants.
The commissioner noted that the essence of the exercise was to boost the confidence of the personnel and allay their anxiety and ensure that they could provide basic care before experts’ care were deployed.
Dr Chioma Ezenyimulu, Executive Secretary, Anambra State Health Care Development Agency, highlighted the role of healthcare workers in COVID-19 case management.
She stressed the need for safety and adequate care for both the patient and the health officers.
The participants were enlightened on the basic uses and limitations of medical Oxygen with a view to ensuring proper procedure.
Aside the heads of health departments from the 21 Local Government Areas, other participants at the training include: Directors of Primary Health Care and Officers in Charge of Primary Health Care Centres in the council areas.
Others were: State Health Educators, State Epidemiologists, the Director, Disease Control and Immunisation and top officials of Anambra State Primary Health Care Development Agency.
Edited By: Adeleye Ajayi