Health Ministry, OCHA Brigade carries out risk communication, sensitisation exercise at private facilities


Anambra Health Ministry, Operation Clean and Healthy Anambra (OCHA), have carried out joint risk communication and sensitisation exercise at private facilities in Awka South Local Government Area (LGA).

Commissioner for Health, Dr Vincent Okpala explained that the exercise was aimed at checking the level of compliance from facilities and the public on COVID-19 mitigation measures installed by the state Government.

“What we actually did is risk communication, sensitisation and to find out if people are complying with mitigation measures that have been in place to help to curb the virus.’’

Dr Okpala noted that the Government had a few months ago set up the Ward COVID-19 Action Team at Ward and LG levels.

“At the Ward level, we have four to five individuals in every political ward.

“We have been receiving complaints of non compliance on measures that was installed to help to curb the spread of the virus.’’

The commissioner explained that some of the facilities visited were to see how people were complying as well as to establish their levels of compliance.

According to him some places are really great and that is why we chose to continue this exercise at the level of transmission in Awka South as the highest in the state.

“We have some key areas, where this is pretty high. So the Ward COVID-19 Taskforce Team joined us from Awka South and we went to a few places for them to understand what they need to be doing even in our absence.

“We established ‘Safe Distance’ in some of the places at their check out points and we made sure that people who entered the facility without a face mask are denied entry.

“Not just wearing the facemask but wearing them appropriately, like covering the mouth and nose.

“If you have a face mask and face shield it is another way of protection because they cannot just wear faces shield without the faces marks.’’

He expressed joy that some of the places visited complied with the preventive measures while some promised to take the issue of COVID-19 very seriously.

“That is the essence of this mission and we went along with OCHA Brigade, because they are the enforcement arm.’’

Dr Okpala noted that the exercise was a continuous one and would not stop until it was defeated.

“This is not the first time we are conducting the exercise, we are picking particular areas and also to make sure that the COVID-19 Action Team understands what they need to be doing.’’

The commissioner, then, explained that warnings were sounded to defaulting facilities and there was already an existing law on COVID-19.

Earlier, Mr Douglas Okafor, the Managing Director, OCHA Brigade said that their job was to enforce the mandate of Gov. Willie Obiano with regards to the COVID-19 rules.

“It is like training and sensitising the public in order to ensure they follow compliance, which helps to curb the spread of the virus.

“Now that we have done the sensitisation, the next thing we have to do is enforcement,’’ he said.

Mr Okafor, an engineer, advised the public to follow and continue to observe compliance by putting on their face masks at all times.