Health commissioner receives Caritas Nigeria team on courtesy visit
By Chukwudi Nwauba :
Awka, Oct. 14, 2020 (MOI) Anambra State Commissioner for Health, Dr Vincent Okpala has commended Caritas Nigeria Project on Tuberculosis in the state.
Dr Okpala made the commendation during a courtesy visit with the team from Caritas-Nigeria in his office at the Jerome Udoji Secretariat Complex, Awka.
He noted that their presence in the state had helped in checking the status, treatment of Tuberculosis in the state with various Tuberculosis sites in public and private facilities.
``I am truly excited that this has been driven by a son of the soil; we are fortunate for having you and your team in the state.
``Sometimes when you go to Abuja, you notice that most of our health programmes; the top notch people driving the process are from this state. We have no reason not to do well.
``The beautiful thing is that most of the people that I met are all thinking home and I am happy about that.’’
The commissioner noted Caritas was a well known organisation that was not only in just the health sector but also in Agriculture.
He explained that the state had set a standard and the state coordinator on TB was also doing a great job; ``he is highly energetic and efficient.
``The team is also well positioned to achieve all the indices that we want to achieve in that area.
``With respect to institutionalising TB screening, that will become a policy that is already working on that aspect.
``One of our major issues has actually been the COVID-19 pandemic but the way we also manage things speaks a lot about the work we are doing to have a strong healthcare system.
``If not for the Gene-X pert machine at the Onitsha General Hospital, the quality of staff members already there working in the TB Lab maybe, we may have a different story testing for COVID-19 pandemic.
``It is the staff members in that Lab that have the discipline in our TB programme that actually did something that put us first ahead of the others.
``That place became the first Gene-X pert site in the federation to help to test for COVID-19 pandemic in a Secondary Healthcare Facility; it still remained the only facility to carry out testing to date.
``When that happened I said kudos to my TB team because it is the discipline that manifested that made the testing possible.’’
He said that the state had a dynamic team and with support from Caritas the state would achieve more.
``As you're in the state, let us know as you access things on how we are doing and as well as help us to get better.’’
The commissioner appealed to Caritas Nigeria to help the state to have testing Labs in the hinterlands as their support would be well appreciated.
Leader of the team, Dr Jude Ilozumba said that Caritas-Nigeria is not only into Tuberculosis Project that their mission is to create a conducive environment for all to achieve fullness of life.
``In this regard we receive funding from donor agencies including the U.S., through CDC, UN and other donor agencies.’’
Dr Ilozumba, a Project Director, Caritas Nigeria, explained that the organisation was a member of Caritas International based in Geneva under the control of Secretary-General in Rome, Italy.
``We are into supporting the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), Humanitarian services but the major thing that brought us here is the Tuberculosis Project, which we are implementing in the state.
``I know that it is going to be better and to do that, we have trained a lot of vendors from different places in the community.
``In the community, we trained no fewer than 280 Patent Medicine Vendors and what we are doing is to get TB services integrated into the health system of the state.’’
He appealed to the commissioner to help to formulate TB screening in the hospitals, for people going to hospitals for care to also be screened for the debilitating TB.
``Just recently, I read in a National daily that Anambra is one of the states with the most efficient Healthcare System in Nigeria.’’
In attendance are, Dr Ugochukwu Chukwulobelu Programme Coordinator TB, Mr Anthony Obi Head of Admin, Mrs Bridget Echezona Health Promotion Officer. (MOI)