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The Enugu State Government has equipped 34 midwives and nurses with enhanced skills to elevate maternal healthcare in primary healthcare centers across the state.
Dr. Ifeyinwa Ani-Osheku, the Executive Secretary of the Enugu State Primary Health Care Development Agency, shared on Saturday the intricacies of an eight-day residential intensive training initiative curated for midwives and nurses.
Ms. Ani-Osheku highlighted that the training, alongside a sequence of other programs for midwives and nurses across diverse PHC facilities, aims to inaugurate the ambitious “Enugu State Zero Maternal Mortality and Child Morbidity Initiative.”
She clarified that the initiative aligns with Governor Peter Mbah’s commitments to Enugu State residents, and the agency is actively implementing practical programs and intervention strategies to ensure its realization.
‘We know that 70 per cent of the indigenes in Enugu State reside in rural areas, and what this means is that they are the people that primarily access healthcare from PHC facilities. We have at least a PHC facility per 260 political wards in Enugu State and a total of 560 PHC facilities in the entire state scattered within the 17 council areas.’
‘The state government, through the ENS-PHCDA, wants to ensure that these PHC facilities are adequately staffed with healthcare professionals with modern knowledge, skills and zeal to deliver healthcare to the vast majority of our people,’ she said.
As part of the strategic move to reposition PHC facilities for the Enugu State Zero Maternal Mortality and Child Morbidity Initiative, the Executive Secretary highlighted that the training is geared towards ensuring heightened skills and a renewed passion in addressing the needs of individuals in PHC facilities.
Ms Ani-Osheku said that the agency was driving at having ‘at any given time a staff, notwithstanding his or her level in the PHC facility, be it a community health extension worker, that could attend to any person in a health emergency at odd hours of the day.’
Dr. Paraclete Ugwu, in his role as the training coordinator, shared that two representatives from each of the 17 council areas are presently engaged in the training.
Providing insights into the training agenda, Ms. Ugwu, the ENS-PHCDA Head of Planning, Research, and Statistics, emphasized that participants will undergo thorough training in emergency healthcare response and holistic care for maternal, child, and neonatal well-being.
‘They are being trained on Basic Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care and other vital training on maternal, child, and neonatal as well as other basic PHC functions. It would be on a train-the-trainer basis in order to step down the training even to Community Health Extension Workers at the PHC facilities,’ she said.
As a nurse benefiting from the training, Perpetua Ngwuoffor emphasized how the program has been instrumental in helping her acquire the expertise needed to efficiently operate a PHC, particularly when resources are scarce.
Ms Ngwuoffor, who is serving at the Isi-enu Ugbawka Health Centre in Nkanu East LGA, said, ‘I appreciate the state government and ENS-PHCDA for the training because it will help me function effectively.’