Commending Anambra’s efficiency in healthcare delivery

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ANAMBRA State, over the weekend, topped the list of states with the most efficient health care system in Nigeria, closely followed by Osun, Ogun, Lagos and Rivers States.

  THIS was shown in a study conducted by a top health technology company in Nigeria, known as WellNewMe.

  ACCORDING to reports, to rank the states, the study used a modified version of the model used by New York-based Common Wealth Fund, a private foundation that aims to promote a high performing health care system that achieves better access, improves quality and greater efficiency, particularly for society’s most vulnerable, including low-income people, the uninsured children and elderly adults.

  “WE USED 27 indicators that measure performance in four domains important to policymakers, providers, patients and the public. They include care process, access, equity and healthcare outcomes; our data come from a variety of sources, including the National Bureau of Statistics, and the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) programme.”

  “THE indicators also include the WHO, Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) and kingmakers.com.ng,” the study stated.

  THE CEO of the organisation, Dr Obi Igbokwe, stated that an index score was created for each metric for each state in the ranking.

“IN EACH metric, the top state based on the raw data was given I point and the bottom states between these were indicated proportionally. For the overall rankings, an average of the four category rankings was created, and then the outcome ranked…”

  TOPPING the list in this study simply means that Anambra State performed better than other states in public health management, which covers the administrative and managerial capacities, organisational structures and systems needed to finance and deliver health services more efficiently, effectively and equitably, which is a really tough job, especially with states with minimal resources.

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  THIS is why we can’t help but commend Governor Willie Obiano for his efforts in upgrading the health facilities in the state and his pro-active initiatives that have saved ndi Anambra from recording preventable deaths since he assumed office, despite the state’s financial challenges.

  IT IS important to note at this juncture that issues of health are part of the governor’s priorities which is why it is one of the enablers of his major pillars of development.

 THE fact that the technology company that conducted the study indicated that most of the data used, except  where stated, were from year 2018, is an indication that what was even used in the study does not in any way reflect the true state of things in the health sector in Anambra State  as it stands today.

  FOR instance, around March 2018, a civil society organisation workshop in Awka, decried the deplorable state of public health facilities in Anambra State and called for increased budget in the health care sector .

  IN REACTION, the then Commissioner for Health, Dr Joe Akabuike unveiled the government’s plan to upgrade more health centres in the state which he said, would be spearheaded by the state primary healthcare development agency.

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  HE SAID the government, as at that time, had upgraded over 63 health facilities to world class standard and targets to upgrade three general hospitals in the three senatorial zones to specialist hospitals, installed diagnostic equipment to make the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital (COOUTH), a world class technology hospital and embarked on health reforms from that year, 2018, with health Insurance scheme.

  AS WE write, the Anambra State Health Insurance Scheme (ASHIS), which was initiated in 2018, to provide quality healthcare at affordable rates to Anambra citizens has drastically reduced mortality rate in the state.

  THE insurance scheme, which has over 85,000 persons enrolled in the programme, with over 273 accredited hospitals is gradually leading the state to attain universal health coverage by reducing delays associated with seeking healthcare, apart from reducing out of pocket catastrophic expenses, among others.

  THE governor’s commitment to ensuring a healthy Anambra pushed him into taking various proactive decisions and actions in combating diseases in the state which has paid off.

  BEFORE the breakout of coronavirus pandemic, the governor, as if he saw tomorrow, unveiled an oxygen plant, which produces about 200 standard  oxygen cylinders daily at COOUTH. Note that oxygen is the biggest in demand in treatment and management of coronavirus and related ailments such as severe Pneumonia, Sepsis, Meningitis, among others.

  HE EVEN went as far as directing the 500 primary health care centres (PHCs) in the state to be given two oxygen cylinders for free daily, for their operations.

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  IT IS well known that Anambra embarked on sensitisation of the people on Lassa fever and coronavirus even before Nigeria recorded her first COVID- 19 case and that outside the epicentres of COVID-19 in Nigeria, like Lagos, Ogun and Abuja, that Anambra was the first state to mandate wearing of face masks and observing personal hygiene protocols as stipulated by WHO to citizens. The governor even went further to charge traditional rulers, presidents- general, town union leaders, and security agencies to enforce wearing of facemasks across the state.

HE WAS also upfront with information by addressing the people often and showed seriousness in monitoring the COVID-19 protocols by closing down the Eke Awka Market for non compliance and barricaded the state’s boundaries, among others, which is why the state ranks lowest in the number of COVID-19 patients so far recorded in the country.

GOING by the above proactive initiatives by the government under Chief Willie Obiano, one can easily conclude that the ranking attained by the state in the recent ranking is a testimony of the good works of the present government in health care delivery in the state.

  WHILE commending the state for the feat so far achieved in the health sector, we call on ndi Anambra to complement the governor’s efforts by heeding to his calls to comply with the COVID-19 protocols and follow other instructions issued for disease control and management for the overall interest of all.

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