From Cynthia Chidinma Igbokwe, Awka
Effective partnership with relevant stakeholders are essential in promoting quality healthcare delivery in various communities, says a consultant Public Health Physician in the department of Public health, Federal Medical Centre, Asaba, Delta state, Dr. Aigbokhaode Adesuwa.
Adesuwa noted that community health extension workers need to collaborate with the relevant stakeholders, especially government, community, religious and political leaders in enforcing policies geared towards promoting the health of the rural dwellers.
Speaking at Atani during a two-day training of Nurses and Community Health Extension workers in Ogbaru Federal Constituency, on the topic, ‘Health seeking behavior and harmful health practices”, Adesuwa maintained that such collaboration will enhance the implementation of the laws guiding the harmful practices.
The training workshop was facilitated by Nolia Consult limited and sponsored by the lawmaker representing Ogbaru Federal constituency, Hon. Chukwuka Chu-Chu Onyema with the theme: Improving the quality of health services in our community.
The participants; community health extension workers and nurses from 16 communities in Ogbaru council area were trained on different personal and environmental hygiene including prevention and control of tuberculosis, Lassa fever and other viral Hemorhagic fevers, HIV awareness, screening and control, appropriate infant and child care behaviours among others.
Adesuwa, who defined harmful health practices as a practice that has adverse effect on the health of individuals in a given community, however blamed parents and caregivers for delaying to see healthcare providers at the appropriate time but rather resort to self and traditional ways of treating ailments.
She identified such harmful practices as scarification, tribal marks, female genital mutilation, discard of colostrum of lactating mothers and injecting breast milk on the eyes babies to treat infection among others, attributing such to poverty, ignorance, religious misconception and inadequate law enforcement and non availability of health centres and personnel in various communities.
The Anambra state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Joe Akabuike in his remarks, appreciated the lawmaker’s gesture in partnering the state government to provide healthcare to the people, explaining that government is already doing a lot in disease prevention and control across primary health centres in the state.
Represented by the Head of Department, Disease and Control /Immunization, State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr Uliagbafusi Placid Nnamdi at the event, Akabuike further explained that government has already set up a committee on Lassa fever prevention in the state and other healthcare delivery.
He further stated that: ”the issue of discarding colostrum is strange to us because we have breastfeeding focal person in the state that teaches lactating mothers on that. Anambra state is doing all it can to provide staff in all our facilities. We have gone into health insurance scheme, upgrading our primary health care centres in the state.” He said.
The lawmaker, Hon Chu-Chu Onyema who was represented by Vice Chairman, PDP Ogbaru and Director- General, Ije-Awele Campaign Organisation, Mr Vincent Eneh said he ventured into the sponsorship of the programme because of his love to his constituents, especially on their health needs.
He noted that the gesture is to reciprocate what his constituents did for him by re-electing him, revealing that he will soon announce a date for free Medicare, including surgeries to all constituents.
“The sponsorship of this programme is one of many that Chu-Chu Onyema has been doing for the people of this constituency. We have other previous representatives who never did this kind of thing for the constituents. He has once organized a training programme of youths on skill acquisition and after which, they were all empowered. By next week, he will be sponsoring free medical treatment for all the constituents. So, we are not surprised that he is taking us to the next level”
Malik Eliede of Nolia consult limited and the traditional ruler of Osomala in Ogbaru council area, Igwe Eze Victor Awogu in their separate speeches said the training will improve the health of the rural dwellers as the trainers will all move to their various wards to educate them on the proper ways of promoting proper hygiene.
Another Resource Person from Federal Medical Centre, Asaba, Dr Ann Ojimba who dwelt on prevention and control of Lassa Fever, said it is a Viral Haemorrhagic Fever with an incubation period of 5 to 21 days and similar signs and symptoms as malaria, typhoid and other fevers and suggested cleanliness, proper disposal of refuse, prevention of rodents from homes as preventive measures.
In their separate remarks, some participants, Mrs Theresa Osakwe and Mrs Patricia Chukwura acknowledged that they have been empowered to go back and do their work more effectively and efficiently.