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NMA, Red Cross donate protective equipment worth N2.5m to UNIZIK’s isolation center

The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Anambra Chapter, has delivered a batch of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) worth N2.5 million to Nnamdi Azikiwe University (NAU) Medical Services Centre.

The protective equipment handed over on Tuesday in Awka was part of the donations from the International Committee of the Red Cross Committee (ICRC) to the Anambra NMA under its COVID-19 Infection Prevention Control (IPC) partnership.

The Chairman of the association in Anambra, Dr Jide Onyekwelu, said the donation was part of the main task of the NMA taskforce on COVID-19.

They included IPC training and procurement of PPE for health workers in the state.

Onyekwelu said NMA was worried about the number of doctors and other health workers who had been infected and died as a result of COVID-19 scourge in the country.

The chairman, who was with Dr Jane Ezeonu, Chairman of Anambra NMA Taskforce and other members of the NMA executive, said PPEs would help to curb the spread of infections between doctors and patients.

The chairman said the association would continue to promote the safety of members and work with the government of Anambra to combat the pandemic to standstill.

The items donated included 460 units of hand disinfection gel, 1,000 units of plastic apron, 900 units of non-woven surgical cap, 3,000 units of latex and 3,000 units of Nitrile surgical gloves.

Others are 600 units of protection gowns, 300 single use respiratory protection masks and 3,000 single use surgical mask.

According to him, we are formally presenting these PPEs to UNIZIK’s Medical Centre, and the health workers in this isolation centre will use them to protect themselves against COVID- 19.

“NMA has plans of extending similar donations to other isolation centres, including Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital, Awka and Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi.

“NMA in Anambra will continue to do our best by partnering with the government and other strategic partners to fight the scourge to a standstill and consign COVID- 19 to dustbin of history,” he said.

Onyekwelu conceded that the cost of PPEs were high and called on governments to get more involved in the availability and accessibility of the safety equipment to health workers.

He said there was need to help private doctors who were more exposed to infections because they treated all categories of patients in the society.

“Of particular mention is the private health sector, the doctor in the private healthcare facility is the most exposed because he is the primary care physician who attends to the different patients.

“Before he starts suspecting that a case may be COVID-19, he is already exposed, he therefore needs protection more.

However, the sponsors of this project ICRC specifically want these PPEs to go to isolation centres only,” he said.

Receiving the equipment, Prof. Lasbery Asomugha, Director, UNIZIK Medical Services thanked the NMA for their gesture.

Asomugha said the donations further enhanced the readiness of the university for reopening whenever it it was announced.

“On behalf of the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Charles Esimone, I want to thank the NMA for donating these items and like Oliver Twist, we will always ask for more,” he said.

Dr Vincent Okpala, Commissioner of Health in Anambra, was represented by Dr Uche Onyejimbe,Director of Public Health in the ministry.

It will be recalled that Anambra NMA on Aug. 18 and Aug. 19, conducted an IPC training for 25 doctors in a train-the-trainers programme in conjunction with ICRC and NCDC.

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