The Commissioner for Health in Anambra, Dr Vincent Okpala, on Tuesday, said that no fewer than 25 health workers had been diagnosed and confirmed to have been infected with the novel Coronavirus pandemic in the state.
The commissioner said it while speaking at the opening ceremony of a two-day COVID-19 Infection Prevention and Control Training of Trainers in Agulu, Anaocha Local Government 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 include: 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, no fewer than 181 persons had been confirmed positive for COVID-19 in Anambra.
He urged the general public to help the health sector by keeping to all the preventive measures against the pandemic and stay safe.
He said that the state government had procured an incinerator for healthy management of hazardous waste.
The commissioner urged the participants to make good use of the training and do well to cascade the knowledge to their zones and ensure that other health workers in Anambra benefit from the training.
“COVID-19 is a leveler, and I am glad that the NMA in conjunction 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, the Chairman of NMA in Anambra, said the training would enable the trainees to understand the basics of COVID-19 disease, epidemiology and transmission.
Onyekwelu said that the training 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 had been 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 ( ICRC) and the NCDC for partnering the NMA in the programme and the Anambra Government for their support.
Dr Ngozi Ezeonu, the Chairman of Anambra NMA Taskforce on COVID-19, said the two-day programme was not just about 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 (D-G) of NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, lauded the Anambra NMA for the initiative.
Ihekweazu was represented by Dr Tochi Okwor, the leader of Anti Microbial Resistance and Prevention and Control Coordinator.
The NCDC D-G said that Nigerians must observe all safety protocols as the economy was gradually opening. (NAN)