By Ebele Egoh/Chukwudi Nwauba :
Awka, June 23, 2020 (MOI) Africa Centre for Disease Control (African CDC), has donated not less than 200 pieces of locally made face shields to Anambra State Health Ministry.
Anambra Commissioner for Health, Dr Vincent Okpala, who received the face shields in his office at the Jerome Udoji Secretariat Complex, Awka, commended the centre for the protective gesture.
The commissioner noted that the donation became necessary due to rising cases of COVID-19 pandemic.
“It will help in protecting medical personnel who attend to COVID-19 patients in the state.
“We say thank you very much for remembering us with this donation and for kitting us in this pandemic era.
“A protected healthcare provider is a confident healthcare provider and without gun or bullet you cannot engage the enemy.
“This actually will help and shield us while we engage the Coronavirus and it is a well thought out donation because it is made locally.
“If COVID-19 has brought any positivity, it will be that we have started looking inwards. Things that we traditionally go outside to procure, are now being made in the country.’’
He assured the group that the items would be distributed judiciously to the State Rapid Response Team and to the Nigerian Medical Association, Anambra Chapter.
Special Adviser (SA), to Gov. Willie Obiano on Health, Dr Simeon Onyemaechi on behalf of African CDC presented the face shields to the commissioner.
Dr Onyemaechi, also member of African CDC noted that the donations became necessary as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The African CDC is specialised technical institution of the African Union established to support public healthcare initiatives of member states and strengthen the capacity of their institutions.
“The centre helps to detect, prevent, control and respond quickly and effectively to disease threats.
“Our regional centres are Central Africa RCC, Eastern Africa RCC, Northern Africa RCC, Southern Africa RCC and West Africa RCC.
“We support African Union Member States in providing coordinated and integrated solutions to inadequacies in their public health infrastructure and human resources,’’ he said.
Dr Onyemaechi observed the global scarcity of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), gingered African CDC to source the face shield locally so that African countries would no longer depend to developed countries for them.
The SA noted that African CDC being local to African continent especially, WHO Afro region decided that within their means and resources they would improvise and produce PPE’s.
“To that extent African CDC commissioned a colleague and member of African CDC in Kano, Nigeria to come up with this face shield and that has been made from materials sourced locally.’’
According to him, the face shield is a typical water proof paper used for lamination; what matters to us is to get doctors protected and it does the job of protecting our people.
“ African CDC decided to reach out to different states in Nigeria and for us in Anambra by releasing 200 pieces for donation to the state.”
Chairman, Nigerian Medical Association, Anambra chapter, Dr Emmanuel Muonagor said the face shields would be useful, in protecting the front liners.
Dr Muonagor noted that doctors from public and private hospitals would benefit from the donations.
He commended the Special Adviser to the Governor on Health, Dr Onyemaechi for attracting the face shield.
In attendance was Director Planning Research and Statistics, Mrs Edith Nwachukwu. (MOI)