COVID-19: Enugu Govt prepares PHC workers for response at community, ward levels

Posted by News Express | 18 May 2020 | 771 times

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•Governor Ugwuanyi


The Enugu State Government says it is fully training and preparing its workers at the Primary Health Care (PHC) centres for effective response to COVID-19 at the community and ward levels.

Dr George Ugwu, Executive Secretary of Enugu State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (ENS-PHCDA) said this in an address during a step-down training for PHC workers in Enugu East and Enugu West senatorial districts and council areas at the weekend in Enugu.

Ugwu said that the step-down training organised by the ENS-PHCDA, which is a train-the-trainers programme, was meant to equip PHC workers to have more clinical knowledge of the virus and guidelines to respond to it.

According to him, the State Government wanted all PHC workers, who are frontline health workers at the community level, to easily define symptoms and guidelines to respond to the virus, while attending to their patients.

“The disease has reached the level of community transmission, hence there is a great need for PHC workers to go all out and act in terms of temporary isolation, contact tracing, case definition and self-protection of themselves as-well-as enlightenment (schooling) of community dwellers on the virus.

“This is why the state government through the Agency is investing in ongoing in-depth training of PHC workers at every level/position in order for them to be well-equipped and prepared to play their part to arrest COVID-19 on time.

“The training would focus on COVID-19 case definition and symptoms in order for the PHC workers to have very clinically-enlightened level of suspicion when a suspected case manifest; and quick isolation of such case in a temporary isolation room/holding bay.

“As the suspected case relaxes at the isolation room/holding bay; the PHC worker makes quick referral by contacting disease surveillance officers or the state COVID-19 team that would pick-up the suspected case,” he said.

Ugwu made it clear that at no time should PHC worker treat a suspected COVID-19 case as stipulated as guided and warned by the National PHCDA and the health ministry.

“I must commend Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi for his personally commitment to see that the state gets rid COVID-19; supporting training and re-training of PHC workers as well as seeing that PHC centres continued to function effectively in this lockdown.

“The Deputy Gov. Cecilia Ezeilo has been working unrelenting to support the governor in supervising enforcement of closure of boundary areas and facilitating programmes meant to reposition PHC centres for effectively service delivery,” he said.

Earlier, Chairman of ENS-PHCDA Board, Dr Chijioke Asogwa, charged the PHC workers to engage in massive group and one-on-one COVID-19 enlightenment with community leaders to ensure wide knowledge about the virus and roles expected for everyone to play.

Asogwa said that rural dwellers should know that wearing of face mask had been made mandatory; need for increased personal hygiene especially hand washing on running water and maintenance of physical distancing always.

“Everybody must take precaution and ensure that people around them must do the right thing and ensure regular wearing of face mask and upping of one’s personal and family hygiene levels,” he said.

One of the participants, Mrs Stella Ani, said that the training had been highly educating for her as it had exposed the need to ensure physical distancing while she carries out her daily duty at the PHC centre.

“I thank Gov. Ugwuanyi and the ENS-PHCDA boss for the training as well as ensuring that PHC centres takes care of health needs of the majority of residents at the rural areas,” Ani, who is Local Immunisation Officer in Nkanu West LGA, said.

Mr Ngozi Ochim, Enugu West Disease Surveillance Notification Officer, said that the training had been enriching and exposed her to frequent asked questions on COVID-19 and what to do when a suspected case is identified.

The training featured presentation on thematic areas, which included Addressing Rumours on COVID-19; Key Messages and Frequently Asked Questions for PHC Workers during COVID-19 Pandemic; as well as Guidelines for PHC Workers on COVID-19.

Highpoints of the training were exposure of participants to training on hooking up to virtual (internet) meetings and training sessions as well as distribution of alcoholic-based sanitisers, face masks and surgical hand gloves provided by the government.

Source: News Express

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