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By Karen James
The Anambra State House of Assembly has called on Commissioners for Health and Information to step up information dissemination on what persons infected or suspected to be infected with COVID-19 should do.
The House resolved that this proactive measure would enable Ndi Anambra and residents of the state, especially in rural areas to be abreast of how to go about the deadly virus.
The House resolution was sequel to a motion presented under Matters of Urgent Public Importance by Mr Ejike Okechukwu, representing Anaocha II State Constituency during plenary session on Feb. 23 this year.
According to the Speaker of the House, Mr Uche Okafor, who presided over the plenary session moved for the resolution of the House and the lawmakers unanimously adopted it through voice votes.
Mr Okafor expressed dismay over the manner COVID-19 virus had been killing people in the world including Anambra State. “We thank Mr Ejike Okechukwu for bringing this matter up.
“COVID-19 is killing people on daily basis in the whole world, not just Anambra.
“We thank God also that we have a proactive governor who stepped in immediately through the ministries of health and information to disseminate information.
“What this motion is talking about is what people are already infected with COVID-19 should do and that is why we are discussing it,’’ speaker noted.
Mr Okechukwu, a COVID-19 survivor expressed happiness that he could be part of the House plenary session after battling the deadly virus and called for support from his colleagues to ensure that lives of their constituents would not be lost.
“Mr Speaker, this virus is with us and is killing our people. I am able to stand here today because of God, items and equipment provided in this state by Gov. Willie Obiano, the prompt intervention from the state commissioner for health and the treatment I got from Doctor Ebuka Umeh.
“I was on oxygen support for four days because of the attack from the virus, but the major problem we have now is that although commissioners for Health and Information are doing a lot within their capacities to inform our people of this virus, a lot will need to be done.
“Most of the time we are told how not to contact this virus, but what happens to people showing symptoms of this virus already? Most of them do not know what to do.
“I think that further information should be disseminated to ordinary man on the streets to be able to know that if he has fever, cough or catarrh today that the first thing to come to his mind is to treat COVID-19,’’ Mr Okafor said.
He expressed confidence that a lot of deaths could be averted if enough information on necessary steps to take once people show symptoms of the virus would be disseminated to the last man on the street.
Mr Onyebuchi Offor, representing Ekwusigo State Constituency supported the motion on the grounds that it was a good testimony from a COVID-19 survivor – member of the House.
Mr Offor urged people to always subject themselves to COVID-19 tests and thanked Gov. Obiano, the state commissioner for health and his team for the efforts in containing the spread of the virus.
Mr Lawrence Ezeudu, representing Dunukofia State Constituency described the motion as apt as people in the state could attest to losing loved ones to the virus.
“Primary healthcare centres should have capacity for the treatment of COVID-19 virus because that is the first point of visit for people at the grassroots before considering whether to go to hospitals.
“This motion is seeking to let the people know more of COVID-19 treatment,’’ Offor averred.
Mr Smart Okafor, representing Nnewi North State Constituency narrated how his collation officer in the last election died on the way to the hospital when the oxygen administered on him finished before reaching the hospital.
“I happen to witness how my sister and the collation officer in oxygen died of COVID-19. I thank the Health Commissioner, Mr Vincent Okpala for the care he rendered to some of the lawmakers who were infected with COVID-19.
“This virus is still at large and I know that more people will die of it because some still do not believe it exists,’’ he said.