By Odogwu Emeka Odogwu
The Executive Secretary of Anambra State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr. Chioma Ezenyimulu, has appealed to Anambra state government to consider prioritizing the recruitment of health workers in the state.
Dr. Ezenyimulu said there has been massive retirement in the health sector over the year which has hindered progress of healthcare delivery in the state. She urged the state government to look out for replacement for health workers who she said, had retired from the sector.
Dr. Ezenyimulu made the appeal in a Media roundtable in Awka, themed, ” Improving Access to Family Planning Services among Women of Reproductive Age in Anambra State”. The event was organised by The Change Initiative (TCI).
According to her “as far back as 2018, there was recruitment exercise done by local govt service commission, and up till now, they have not released list of successful candidates.”
She said since then, staff have been retiring without commensurate replacement.”
Speaking at the forum, the Anambra State Commissioner for health, Dr. Vincent Okpala, said the state government had made provisions to ensure that healthcare services are rendered free of charge, notably, in the rural areas.
Dr. Okpala, represented by the Director of Public Health Services, Dr. Uchechukwu Onyejimbe, blamed faith-based facilities and private health facility owners in the state for charging money for some basic healthcare needs of the people, especially regarding family planning.
In a remark, the chairman of Civil Society Organization, Mr. Chris Azor, noted that security and welfare of the people form the primary aim of any government, stressing that government must ensure it take adequate care of the citizens by providing basic healthcare for their safety.
Azor also called for a sustained partnership and collaboration between the state government and the private bodies as regards to providing basic health needs for the citizens. He added that some healthcare services can even be subsidized if there is adequate collaboration with private sector in the state.
The MD/CEO of Anambra Newspaper and Printing Corporation, Chief Chuka Nnabuife, at the event, urged indigenes of Anambra state to ensure they support the efforts of government instead of relying so much on government healthcare interventions.
He told his audience to be the change agents that will look out for means of contributing to the wellbeing of the people in communities. He said the society must appreciate the efforts of philanthropist who does well to provide free medical facilities.
Earlier, the TCI Family Planning Coordinator, Mr. Aneotah Egbe, said the programme was to support the trainings, supportive supervision, smart advocacy and social mobilization towards improving public maternal health.
The Media Focal Person for the programme, Mrs. Franca Madike, said the event was aimed at sensitising the citizens in achieving goals of safe motherhood. She said sound knowledge of family planning would help reduce number of women that die from pregnancy and child birth related complications.
Mrs. Chioma Okedo identified staff attrition, religious and cultural barriers, myths and misconceptions, poor funding, to hindrances to family planning, while Mrs. Ify Unachukwu of Anambra Broadcasting Service (ABS), on the other hand, recommended that staff recruitment, and increased budgetary allocation be considered for improved healthcare service in the state.