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Monitor, supervise health workers for improved service delivery

 Anambra State government has been advised to institute disciplinary actions against erring health workers who flout government’s directives thereby constituting impediment in achieving set objectives.

The call was made at the Anambra State Media Round Table on Family Planning, held in Awka on 27th May, 2021, to assess the progress so far made in ensuring that message on Family Planning gets to the target groups and that those who need the services have access to them without hindrances.

The project is being powered by Development Communications, Devcom, and The Challenge Initiative, TCI, while the theme for the Media Roundtable was, Strengthening Quality Family Planning Service Delivery in Primary Healthcare Centers in Anambra State.

At the meeting, it was gathered that though the services are meant to be free, some health facilities charge clients between five hundred naira and five to seven thousand naira which, according to them, could discourage some clients from accessing the services.

It was also observed that some rural communities lack health facilities, while in some, health workers either abandon their duty posts or display unfriendly behaviors thereby scaring patients and clients away.

Other findings include inadequate manpower to man the health facilities, shortage, expired or high cost of drugs, and funds.

Reacting to the complaints, the Commissioner for Health, Dr Vincent Okpala, restated that that provision of Family Planning Services is free.

The Commissioner, represented by the Director of Public Health And Disease Control in the Ministry, Dr Uche Chukwu Onyejimbe, said the issue of paying for the services came up following requests by some privately owned and Faith based hospitals who complained of funds to pay staff, purchase drugs and other essentials.

He maintained that it was then agreed to charge clients five hundred naira to access Family Planning Services and asserted that otherwise, the services are free especially in government owned hospitals.

Also speaking, the Director, Community Health Services, ASPHCDA, Dr Frank Umeh, who represented the Executive Secretary, Anambra State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr Mrs Chioma Ezenyimulu, asserted that State Government has always been supportive to the Agency, and as such, there have been a lot of improvements in health care services which was why the Agency was established in the first place.

Dr Umeh disclosed that there have been massive renovation of Primary health care centers across the state, while some sixty midwives were recently recruited for health care service delivery, Family Planning, inclusive.

On drugs, Dr Umeh spoke on the efficacy of drugs delivered to health centers and warned that health workers should inform the Agency before drugs get expired otherwise, they pay for the wastes.

He assured that work is in progress and all issues would be attended to and addressed.

Contributing, the Director, Planning, Research and Statistics, Mrs Edith Nwachukwu, stressed the need for serious monitoring and supervision of health facilities and workers for improved health care services.

In his submissions, the State TCI Family Planning Coordinator, Mr Aneota Egbe, called for actionable strategies in addressing issues raised to be able to achieve desired objectives.

Presenting the findings from the Third Media Tour of Primary Health Centers in the state, Mrs Ify Unachukwu, observed that there have been increase in people accessing Family Planning, but noted some of the challenges observed during the trip.

Participants also called for more financial support to be able to explore more avenues in creating awareness and sending the message across through programme sponsorship, jingles etc.

The State Devcom Focal Person, Franca Madike, thanked participants for their invaluable contributions towards achieving the set goal of bringing the campaign of Family Planning to the doorsteps of every household in the state in view of its importance to the wellbeing of all.


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