Dr. Vincent Okpala, Commissioner for Health in Anambra, on Tuesday said that no fewer than 25 health workers were diagnosed and confirmed to have been infected with the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the state.
The commissioner disclosed this while speaking at the opening ceremony of a two-day COVID-19 Infection Prevention and Control Training of Trainers in Agulu, Anaocha Council Area of the state.
The programme was organised by the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Anambra chapter, to train 25 members selected from the Zones across the state.
Okpala said that the infected health workers included two doctors, eight nurses, two laboratory technicians, among others, and expressed regrets that those who should be the warriors were falling victims of the virus.
He said that so far Anambra had 181 confirmed COVID-19 cases.
He urged the general public to help the health sector by keeping to all the preventive measures to the pandemic and stay safe.
He also said that the state government had purchased an incinerator for healthy management of hazardous waste.
The commissioner urged the participants to make good use of the training, cascade the knowledge to their zones and ensure that health workers in Anambra benefitted from the training.
“COVID-19 is a leveler, and am glad that NMA with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), is putting this together; there is need to protect our health workers,” he said.
Dr Nice Onyekwelu, Chairman of NMA in Anambra, said that the training would enable the trainees to understand the basics of COVID-19 disease, epidemiology and transmission.
Onyekwelu said that it was part of the efforts of the NMA at propagating infection prevention and control capacity of members and all health care workers in the state, especially the private sector.
He described the high number of medical doctors who were exposed, confirmed or died of COVID-19 as worrisome and called for a more concerted effort at stemming the tide.
The chairman commended the International Committee for Red Cross and NCDC for partnering the NMA in the programme as well as the Anambra government for its support.
Dr Ngozi Ezeonu, Chairman of Anambra NMA Taskforce on COVID-19, said the two-day programme was not just COVID-19 infection prevention but to enhance capacity on curbing the infectiousness of all other diseases.
Ezeonu said that the module included all what was needed to keep health workers on the safe side.
The Director-General of NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, lauded the Anambra NMA for the initiative.
Represented by Dr Tochi Okwor, the leader of Antimicrobial Resistance and Prevention and Control Coordinator, Ihekweazu said that Nigerians must observe all safety protocol as the economy was gradually opening.
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