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Sunday, April 23, 2017

Ukpor Community Honours Mrs. Obiano

It was a colourful ceremony at Ukpor, Nnewi South Local Government Area of Anambra State on Saturday when the community honoured the wife of Governor of Anambra State, Chief (Mrs.) Ebelechukwu Obiano with the traditional title of Kpakpando n’ Ukpor bestowed by His Royal Majesty, Dr. Sir. Felix Onyimadu, KSJi Nwajiaku VI Igwe Ukpor.

The conferment of traditional title on the founder of Caring Family Enhancement Initiative (CAFÉ) held at Central School field Ukpor is one of the highlights of the 2nd Ofala Festival and commemoration of eight years on the throne of the Ukpor monarch. The event attracted dignitaries from all works of life including Governor Willie Obiano who was on hand to lend support to his wife.

Speaking to the impressive crowd made up representatives of forty-four villages in the town and dignitaries, Governor Willie Obiano thanked the Igwe Onyimadu and entire community for considering his wife worthy of honour for caring for the less privileged members of the society.

Obiano revealed that charity work is a family tradition which started long before he became governor. “My wife and I have been engaging in various charity projects for many years and I can assure you that we will continue to assist the needy.” He assured that welfare of the people is paramount, adding that his administration would continue to empower and employ physically challenged persons in the state.

The Governor told the people that road project in the area is on-going and urged them to speed up the construction of N20 million Naira choose your project community initiative so as to benefit from the second phase.  He equally stated that his administration will continue to attract investors and construct more projects that would positively transform the state to enviable status and viable for economic activity.

 He revealed that the construction of the 5- Star - Agulu Lake- Hotel would be completed in six  months and would be renamed Golden Tulip, added that it would contribute to the state's internally generated revenue and boost tourism. On the construction of the International Cargo Airport City at Umueri, Obiano said it is fully funded by Chinese Company to be delivered in three years’ with employment for the youths thereby enabling the state to harness their potentials.

Receiving the title earlier, the governors’ wife expressed gratitude to the Igwe and the people of Ukpor, and assured that she would not relent in providing for the helpless and indigent members of the society. She noted that the title -"Kpakpando," means that she would continue to shine brighter for good by assisting the needy and supporting the lofty programmes of the governor for Ndi Anambra, especially in improving the welfare of the people and providing enabling environment for businesses to strive.

Earlier while conferring the title, HRM, Dr. Sir Onyimadu Igwe Ukpor said that the the title was a reward for the unprecedented achievements of Chief Mrs. Obiano in restoring hope to many helpless members of the society and the less privileged through her projects which contributes to community development.

Igwe Nwajiaku observed that as the wife had touches humanity in various ways, the presence of Governor Obiano administration is being felt across the state. He also urged Chief Mrs. Obiano to sustain the tempo of caring for the need, as the people of the community would always support her dreams.

Other dignitaries at the event include members of Anambra State Executive Council, Speaker of Anambra State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Barrister Rita Maduagwu, some members of the State House of Assembly, political appointees, and members of traditional council, religious leaders, members of APGA, and many others.

Pix 1: His Royal Majesty, Dr. Sir. Felix Onyinmadu KSJi Nwajiaku VI, Igwe Ukpor conferring title of Kpakpando n’ Ukpor on wife of Governor of Anambra State Chief (Mrs.) Ebelechukwu Obiano on Saturday.

Pix 2: Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano congratulates his wife, Ebelechukwu after she received the title of Kpakpando n’ Ukpor from His Royal Majesty, Dr. Sir. Felix Onyinmadu KSJi Nwajiaku VI Igwe Ukpor on Saturday.

Pix 3(L-R): Speaker of Anambra State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Barrister Rita Maduagwu, His Royal Majesty, Dr. Sir. Felix Onyinmadu KSJi Nwajiaku VI Igwe Ukpor, Anambra State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano and his wife Ebelechukwu after receiving the title of Kpakpando n’ Ukpor on Saturday.

Pix 4: Anambra State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano and his wife Ebelechukwu dance to the royal drums after receiving the wife was bestowed with title of Kpakpando n’ Ukpor on Saturday.

By emeka ozumba

Saturday, April 22, 2017

End Malaria for Good: A Review of Malaria Burden, Interventions and Challenges in Anambra State

November 6th, 1880 marked a turning point in the diagnosis, management and treatment of malaria in the world. 

That day, Charles Louis Alphonse Laveran, a French army surgeon stationed in Constantine, Algeria discovered parasites in the blood of a patient suffering from malaria. 137 years gone after this great discovery, malaria is still a health burden in Africa.  Perhaps, if Laveran were to be alive he would have marvelled that the discovery that earned him the Nobel Prize in 1907 is still ravaging Africa and other parts of world.

According to the World Health Organization, malaria occurs mostly in poor tropical and subtropical areas of the world. In many of the countries affected by malaria, it is a leading cause of illness and death. In areas with high transmission, the most vulnerable groups are young children, who have not developed immunity to malaria yet, and pregnant women, whose immunity has been decreased by pregnancy. The costs of malaria – to individuals, families, communities, nations – are enormous.

 In her 2012 Health report, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reported that an estimated 627,000 people died of malaria—most were young children in sub-Saharan Africa.
In the 2014 World Malaria Report, Africa still bears over 80 percent of the global malaria burden, while Nigeria accounts for about 29 percent of this burden. Similarly, the report also states that in combination with the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria contributes up to 40 percent of the global burden. The Nigeria Malaria Indicator Survey (NMIS 2015) further indicates that malaria contributes up to 11 percent of maternal mortality, 25 percent of infant mortality, and 30 percent of under-5 mortality. The National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS 2013) similarly reports that an estimated 97 percent of the country’s approximate population of 160 million residents are at risk of malaria.

 The 2017 Annual Plan for Malaria Elimination of the Anambra State Ministry of Health reports that ‘‘the economic burden of malaria on Nigerian households is huge’’. This is supported by a study on the Economic Burden of Malaria on Households and the Health System (EBMHHS) in Enugu State Southeast, Nigeria. The EBMHHS study further shows that ‘‘the average household expenditure per case was NGN3935 equivalent to 12.57US$ and NGN7772 equivalent to 23.20US$ for outpatient department visits and inpatient days respectively’’.

 However, the  summary report of the Nigeria Malaria Indicator Survey conducted in 2015 showed  that malaria prevalence was still lowest in South East Zone with 14% as compared to 28%, the lowest also in 2014 (NMIS 2015). Several measures have been initiated by government and donor agencies and partners in the fight to eradicate malaria in Nigeria, particularly Anambra State. The National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP), National Malaria Prevention and Control Programme, Christian Aid(CAID)UK, State Malaria Elimination Programme, the Support to the National Malaria Programme (SuNMaP) among others have provided several interventions to eliminate malaria. The interventions include donation of insecticidal treated nets, residual in-door spraying (RIS), drugs for intermittent preventive treatment during pregnancy (IPTp) among others.

 On Insecticide- Treated Nets Ownership, almost 70% of households in Nigeria and 75% of the households in Anambra State own at least one insecticide-treated net (ITN). On the Use of Insecticide-Treated Nets by Household Members more than one-third (37%) of Nigerians and 24% in Anambra State slept under an ITN the night before the survey. On Intermittent preventive treatment during pregnancy (IPTp) - 3 or More Doses of SP, the survey also showed that nationally only 19% of women and 20% of women in Anambra State with a live birth in the two years before the survey received three or more doses of SP during antenatal care visits while nationally, only 37% and 43% in Anambra State with a live birth in the two years before the survey received two or more doses of SP during antenatal care visits.

The goal of most current National Malaria Prevention and Control Programs and most malaria activities conducted in endemic regions is to reduce the number of malaria-related cases and deaths. To reduce malaria transmission to a level where it is no longer a public health problem is the goal of what is called malaria "control."
The National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP) developed a new National Strategic Plan (NSP) (2014-2020) to facilitate the elimination of malaria in Nigeria by 2020. The goal of the NMSP is to reduce malaria burden to pre-elimination levels and [1]bring malaria-related mortality to zero. In October 2015, the Sub-recipient to NMEP, Christian Aid(CAID)UK commenced support to the Anambra State Malaria Elimination Programme following the close out of the World Bank Malaria Booster Project and the Support to the National Malaria Programme (SuNMaP). The suite of support from CAID cuts across major malaria intervention activities including Malaria Case Management (Diagnosis and Treatment) and Programme Management.  Consequently, the Global Fund through Christian Aid, UK has committed funds to support Anambra State to apply the strategies embedded in the plan as a means to contributing to the achievement of the NMSP 2014-2020 objectives.
Those recent increases in resources, political will, and commitment have led to discussion of the possibility of malaria elimination and, ultimately, eradication. This, perhaps informed the global theme, ‘End Malaria for Good’ to mark the 2017 World Malaria Day scheduled for April, 25th.
The Anambra State presently has demonstrated some political will to contribute to the achievement of the NMSP 2014-2020 objectives through designing Annual Operational Plans (AOPs) for Malaria Elimination in the state.  The 2017 AOP for Malaria Elimination of the Anambra State Malaria Elimination Programme stated its specific objectives and targets in line with the NMSP 2014-2020 goal and objectives. One of the key output areas is in strengthening malaria programme management through the development and reviews of Annual Operational Plans (AOPs). The AOPs serves as a widely acceptable resource mobilization tool for malaria programme implementation.
Seven (7) NMSP 2014-2020 objective areas that fall within the Anambra State Health System include Malaria Prevention, Malaria Diagnosis, Malaria Treatment, Advocacy, Communication and Social Mobilisation, procurement and supply chain management, Monitoring and Evaluation Research, and Programme management.
The framework for the realization of 2017 AOP for Malaria Elimination of the Anambra State Malaria Elimination Programme objectives and to sustain and achieve the theme for the World Malaria Day of ‘end malaria for good’ anchor on the above seven pillars. Discussions/review of the situation analysis and 2017 projections of these seven pillars are presented below.
Malaria Prevention        

Data from the Malaria Commodity Logistics System (MCLS) indicates that the state received a total of 173,500 LLINs and 74,900 doses of Sulfadoxine Pyrimethamine (SP) in the first quarter of 2016. A total of 250,700 LLINs and 80,120 doses of SP were also distributed during that period.
Furthermore in 2016, a pilot programme on Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS), funded by the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH), was conducted in Mgbakwu community in Awka North LGA of Anambra State. A total of 6,000 structures were sprayed using Delthametrin. The spraying exercise was a follow-up to a baseline entomological survey done in which the most effective insecticide was found to be Delthametrin. A total of 6 supervisors and 44 spray men were trained and deployed by NMEP through the FMOH to conduct the exercise.

Focused Antenatal Care (FANC) has commenced in all the health facilities in the State. In FANC, the administration of a minimum of 3 doses and maximum of 4 doses of SP(Sulphadoxine/Pyrimethamine) during pregnancy is emphasized, as opposed to 2 doses in the past.
Training activities carried out under Malaria Prevention in 2016 include the following:
Residential training of 71 participants which comprised 2 Doctors from selected secondary health facilities; 1 LGA Malaria focal person from each of the 21 LGAs and 10 SMEP staff of the State grouped in 2 clusters of 30 participants on Prevention of Malaria in Pregnancy.
Non-residential step-down training of 756 health facility workers which comprised of (2 Health Workers per 15 Health Facilities, 1 Programme Officer- SMoH, 1 LGA Malaria Focal Person, 1 SMEP Programme Officer from each of the 21 LGA in the state) on Prevention of Malaria in Pregnancy.

Programme achievement in the Prevention Objective Area significantly improved to 75% in 2016 from 17.10% in 2015 due to the availability of training materials, facilitators and training venues to conduct trainings on LLIN continuous distribution. 
Malaria Diagnosis

All categories of health facilities (HFs) in the State (Primary, Secondary and Tertiary) offer mRDT services, particularly at the primary level. In addition, all Secondary HFs comprising the 36 General Hospitals and the 10 Mission Hospitals are offering malaria microscopy services. The tertiary facility in the State-Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu Teaching Hospital is also providing microscopy services.

Towards improving the quality of malaria diagnostic tests, trainings on mRDT were conducted for 785 health workers of different categories drawn from the 21 LGAs of the State. The sessions on mRDT were part of the Global Fund/Christian Aid UK supported trainings on case management of severe and uncomplicated malaria.

Majority of the HFs comply with the national guidelines for parasitological confirmation of malaria. External Quality Assurance (EQA) for malaria diagnosis has been established and is conducted quarterly in Anambra State. In 2015, the Support to National Malaria Programme (SUNMAP) project collaborated with the State to establish and inaugurate an eight-man External Quality Assurance team.

In a review of the 2016 AOP, the former Malaria Programme Officer, Dr. Johnson Oformata noted that ‘‘the Programme achievement in the Diagnosis Objective Area was 100% across the four quarters of the year and this was enhanced by the availability of state-based training facilitators, manuals and supportive supervisory tools’’.
 Malaria Treatment

Progress in prompt and appropriate malaria treatment in Nigeria requires the availability of trained health workers, including community resource persons within the urban and rural areas respectively.  Therefore it has become imperative to recruit additional numbers of human resources for health required for improvements in the availability and quality of malaria treatment services, which are key components for the achievement of the Universal Health Coverage (UHC).  Seven hundred and eighty-five (785) health care providers were trained on malaria case management by Global Fund/ Christian Aid UK.  On commodity supply of ACT, there was stock out of ACT in the second and third quarters in the central medical store (CMS) and in HFs. However, by the middle of the year 2016, 168,307 cases of malaria were treated with ACT in the public health facilities. 

According to AOP 2017  Malaria Elimination Programme in Anambra State, out of this number, ‘‘50,074 were under 5 children and 4,058 cases were pregnant women. Unfortunately there is lack of comprehensive data on the burden of malaria in pregnancy in Anambra State’’.
On the  progress in the use quality of malaria treatment, the NDHS 2013 indicates that the proportion of children under five years old with a fever in the two weeks preceding the survey who took any ACT the same or next day within 24 hours of onset of fever has improved from zero percent to 7.4%.Proxy indicators calculated from DHIS 2.0 for January to October 2016 showed that the proportion of persons that tested positive for malaria at health facility (uncomplicated or severe) that received antimalarial treatment according to national treatment guidelines was 88.4%. 
Advocacy, Communication and Social Mobilisation          

The Advocacy Communication & Social Mobilization strategy in malaria elimination requires attention in Anambra State. The ACSM core group has not been constituted due to the poor engagement of stakeholders on behaviour change communication for malaria in the state. In addition, the state does not have an ACSM strategic framework to guide advocacy, communication and social mobilization activities at the state, LGA and community levels. The involvement and participation of the media groups on the promotion of malaria messages has not been regular. However, radio jingles on malaria control and prevention messages through the support of the partners were aired to an extent by Purity FM and Anambra State Broadcasting Service (ABS). The Association of Civil Society Organizations on Malaria, Immunization and Nutrition (ACOMIN) and the Society for Family Health with funding from Global Fund have collaborated with the SMEP on the implementation of malaria social mobilization activities in the state. On strategic behaviour change communication (SBCC) activities, one community dialogue in two wards per LGAs (20 persons per ward) were also carried out with the support of two Global Fund sub recipients for malaria social mobilization (SFH and ACOMIN). World Malaria Day celebrations have also contributed to promoting awareness of malaria prevention and treatment particularly on encouraging the citizenry to sleep inside the LLINs. ACSM challenges in Anambra State include the absence of a state ACSM core group to drive the planned activities, inadequate number of BCC materials and overdependence on partner support.

These inhibitors most probably are responsible for the poor programme performance over the last three years – 33% in 2013 and 2015 respectively and a slight increase to 43.50% in 2016. In addition, the ACSM proxy indicator such as the proportion of wards with community-based organizations (CBO) involved in malaria activities was determined to be an abysmal 12.84%.
Procurement and supply chain management (PSM)

The PSM strategies employed in Anambra SMEP are procurement, storage, distribution, inventory management, monitoring and supportive supervisory visits. However, quantification of antimalarial medicines and commodities is done centrally and annually through NMEP support, but there is no quantification sub-committee at the SMEP. The key officers in the malaria programme involved in PSM and quantification include; the Head of Department (HOD) Central Medical Store, the logistics officer of SMEP/distribution pharmacist and the procurement officer. The state has a standard central medical store for the storage of antimalarial medicines and commodities. Logistics Management Information System (LMIS) tools are available in the State.

To consolidate on the achievement of the SMEP, the PSM Technical Working Group and the Logistics Management and Coordinating Unit (LMCU) has been inaugurated. The LMCU has taken up PSM activities in the state across all the programme areas. All logistics officers of all disease programmes are part of the LMCU headed by the CMS Manager as the LMCU coordinator. The LMCU has two (2) Logistics consultants sponsored by the National Supply Chain Integration Project(NSCIP). Also in the team is a Logistics Officer sponsored by the NMEP to provide technical assistance.

The Global Fund through the Christian Aid UK supports other objective areas such as Prevention, Treatment, Diagnosis and Programme Management while NMEP provides technical support and maintains supply of commodities. The remnants of the commodities procured through SuNMaP project funds were also distributed this year.
Activities carried out this year under PSM include

Training of State officers and facility workers on PSM which include:
Residential training of 21 LGA malaria focal persons, 1 Christian Aid logistics associate, 3 SMEP staff, 1 NMEP logistic officer, 1 CMS Pharmacist on Malaria Commodity Logistics System (MCLS) and Continuous distribution of LLINs.

Non-residential step-down training of 585 health facility workers which include 21 LG HoDs (Health), officers in charge (OICs) and facility logistics officers on Malaria Commodity Logistics System (MCLS) on the continuous distribution of LLINs.

State level MCLS coordination meeting for data collection.
Monitoring and supportive supervision of malaria commodities by the state team, LG MFPs and LMCU members.

Receipt and Distribution of antimalarial commodities as stated below:

Table 1: Commodities and Quantities
Artemeter Lumefantrine x 6
Artemeter Lumefantrine x 12
Artemeter Lumefantrine x 18
Artemeter Lumefantrine x 24
Artesunate Amodiaquine (AA 2)
Artesunate Amodiaquine (AA 3)
Artesunate Amodiaquine (AA 4)
Sulphadoxine-Pyrimethamine x 3
Artesunate Injection 60mg
Sharps Container

Artemeter Lumefantrine x 6
Artemeter Lumefantrine x 12
Artemeter Lumefantrine x 18
Artemeter Lumefantrine x 24
Artesunate Amodiaquine (AA 2)
Artesunate Amodiaquine (AA 3)
Artesunate Amodiaquine (AA 4)
Sulphadoxine-Pyrimethamine x 3
Artesunate Injection 60mg
Sharps Container
Source:  Anambra State 2017 AOP for Malaria Elimination Programme
Reports on capacity building activities for monitoring and evaluation in the state shows that a-three (3) day non-residential training for 714 Record Officers from primary, secondary and tertiary health facilities on the use of NHMIS data tools was conducted across the state in March 2016. Data Quality Assurance (DQA) exercises was done five (5) times in 138 public health facilities across the 21 LGAs. The conduct of regular monthly NHMIS meetings and validation meetings has promoted the use of NHMIS data tools, complete data reporting and timely reporting of data on the DHIS 2.0 platform. These improvements have enhanced the use of data for informed decisions for better health planning across the state and LGA levels.  The proportion of health facilities who report data through the DHIS 2.0 platform is 75.96% in 2016 while  the proportion of health facilities that report timely improved from 2.8% in 2013, 48.8% in 2014; to 65.7% in 2015 and 71.38% in 2016. Furthermore, reporting rates (reporting of complete data) by LGAs have also improved from 23.5% in 2013; 64.2% in 2014; to 74.4% in 2015 and slightly down to 69.7% in 2016. However, the recurrent poor use of NHMIS tools by some private facilities and secondary public facilities need to be addressed holistically by the relevant state authorities.  The major inhibitors were to the poor harmonization of schedules of cross-cutting activities and poor domestic mobilization of funds to implement planned activities.
Anambra State Malaria Elimination Programme (ASMEP) is responsible for the formulation of malaria interventions for incorporation into the overall Health Plan and Annual Budget of the state. This critical role falls under the purview of Programme Management of ASMEP. The Directorate of Primary Health Care/Disease Control of Anambra State Ministry of Health exercises direct oversight over ASMEP. However, the ASMEP carries out the implementation of malaria elimination activities. The SMEP staff comprises the following personnel: Programme Manager, Officers responsible for Training, Logistics, Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E), Integrated Vector Management (IVM), Community Directed Intervention (CDI) and Advocacy, Communication & Social Mobilization (ACSM) and Patent Proprietary Medicine Vendors (PPMVs).
Programme review revealed that the improved coordination and harmonization of malaria activities at the state and LGA levels have been attributed to the increased Anambra State Government policy drive to strengthening the health system through malaria activities, in addition to the active participation of ASMEP officers and stronger partner support. Inhibitors to programme management implementation performance in 2016 include poor release of State Government budgeted funds to support activities such as integrated supportive supervision that requires fund huge resources. The chart below illustrates the quarterly implementation performance score of each objective area in 2016.
               Figure 1.0: Percentage Performance (Q1 –Q4) by Objective Area – AOP 2016
 Source:  2017 AOP for Malaria Elimination in Anambra State.
Yearly performance by objective areas shows that Prevention scored 75%; Diagnosis scored 100%; and Treatment objective area scored 100%.  ACSM scored 43.5% while PSM scored 22%. Next is M & E with 45.7% score and Programme Management with 42%. (see figure 2.0 above).
Table 2: Sources and Types of Potential Support for Malaria Programming in the State
Source of support
Type of support

Anambra State Government
Provision of Funds and technical Assistance through the State Ministry of Health

Local Government Councils
Funds, Human Resources for Health

Global Fund/Christian Aid UK
Commodities, Technical Assistance

Carter Foundation
Funds, Commodities

Gowon Foundation
Funds, Commodities

Emeka Offor Foundation
Funds, Commodities


Social Mobilisation

The Anambra State 2017 Malaria Elimination Programme framework also revolves on the seven strategic objectives reviewed above. In the area of malaria prevention targeted objectives that will help to ensure the 2017 theme for World Malaria Day include: to ensure that 60 percent of children under five attending health facilities receive LLINs;
to ensure that 80 percent of pregnant women attending ANC in health facilities receive LLINs; and to ensure that 70 percent of pregnant women attending ANC in health facilities receive at least three doses of SP for IPT.

For malaria diagnosis the main objective is to ensure that all persons with suspected malaria who seek care in public/private health facilities and communities are tested with mRDT or microscopy by 2020. The specific objectives for 2017 include ensuring that all suspected malaria cases receive diagnostic test for malaria;
to build capacity of 30% of health workers in selected LGAs on mRDT, and to build capacity of 60 percent of medical laboratory scientists on microscopy. 
Similarly, 2017 main objective for malaria treatment is to ‘‘ ensure that all persons with confirmed malaria seen in private or public health facilities receive prompt treatment with an effective anti-malarial drug by 2020’’. The specific objectives include to: ensure that all persons that tested positive in public health facilities are treated according to national treatment guidelines; ensure that all children under five with uncomplicated malaria receive timely ACT treatment according to national treatment guidelines, and to ensure that at least 80 percent of pregnant women with fever/malaria receive appropriate and timely treatment according to the national treatment guidelines.

 The 2017 Strategic Objective for Advocacy, Communication and Social Mobilisation for malaria elimination is to ensure that at least 80 percent of the population practice appropriate malaria prevention and management by 2020. The state specific objectives for 2017 to establish State Advocacy, Communication and Social Mobilization (ACSM) core group; to air radio jingles, documentaries, commentaries and publish feature stories on malaria in selected media outlets, and to expand and sustain the involvement of CSOs and media groups in malaria elimination activities in 165 Wards.

Strategic objective for procurement and supply chain management for 2017 and beyond is to ensure the timely availability of appropriate antimalarial medicines and commodities required for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of malaria in Nigeria by 2018. The State specific objectives for 2017 procurement and supply chain management include (i) to reduce stock out of RDTs to zero percent in all Health Facilities, (ii) to reduce stock out of ACTs to zero percent in all Health Facilities, (iii) to reduce stock out of LLINs to zero percent in all Health Facilities, (iv) to reduce stock out of SP for IPTp to zero percent in all Health Facilities, (v) to ensure that health facility staff keep and maintain good data quality in MCLS.

In the same vein, the strategic objective in the area of monitoring evaluation and research is to ensure that all health facilities report on key malaria indicators routinely by 2020. The 2017 State specific objectives in the above area include ensuring  that health facilities (public and private) are using the newly harmonized national health information system (NHMIS) data tools; to ensure that health facilities (public and private) report complete data with the NHMIS tools, and to ensure that health facilities (public and private) report in a timely manner.

To strengthen governance and coordination of all stakeholders for effective malaria programme implementation at all levels by 2020 is the strategic objective in the area of programme management. The State specific objectives for 2017 in the area of programme management include to harmonize and coordinate all malaria elimination activities in the State; to advocate for increase of State and Local Governments’ contribution to malaria elimination funding gaps; to conduct timely review of 2017 AOP; to develop and disseminate 2018 AOP for malaria elimination; to support LGA Health Departments to develop 2017 Activity Plans for malaria elimination; to celebrate 2017 World Malaria Day.  Other specific objectives include   developing and implementing a robust plan for capacity building of the new Anambra State Malaria Elimination Programme Officers, and to maintain and provide vital office equipment at SMEP office.

However, more needs to be done to achieve the objectives of National Malaria Elimination Programme in the state. As the world mark the World Malaria Day, Anambra State Ministry of Health have lined up a lot of activities to commemorate the day and to create awareness on the theme for the celebration:  ‘‘ end malaria for  good’’.

Obiano Condoles with Ayade, Cross Riverians on Calabar Tragedy

The Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano has condoled with the Governor of Cross River State, Prof. Ben Ayade and the good people of Cross River State over the tragic death of football fans who lost their lives at a soccer viewing centre when a high tension electric cable fell on the roof of the building housing the viewing centre in Calabar, on Thursday night.

Expressing a deep sense of sorrow, Governor Obiano who spoke through James Eze, his Senior Special Assistant on Media, said the news of the tragedy came as a shock to him.

“There are certain things that paralyse me with shock. The news of many young people dying at the same time always leaves me in shock. This is one incident that will fill us all with a deep sense of loss for a very long time,” Governor Obiano observed.

Speaking further, the Governor expressed his deepest condolences to Governor Ayade and all Cross Riverians, saying; “My thoughts and prayers are with you in this dark hour when everything seems to dissolve into strands of questions that have no easy answers. Moments like this do not lend themselves to easy explanations. But they simply remind us of the ephemeral nature of life and the importance of living in peace and harmony with our neighbours and devoting more time to the service of God.”

Governor Obiano therefore urged families that lost loved ones in the tragedy to keep looking onto Jesus, the author and finisher of the faith of all believers, assuring them that grief may tarry for a night but joy comes in the morning.

The causalities of the Calabar tragedy were reported to have lost their lives while enjoying a quarter-final UEFA Europa League match between Manchester United of England and Anderlecht FC of Belgium at a viewing centre on Thursday night.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

31st Edition of Anambra Scorecard Focuses on ANSIPPA and the Anambra International Airport City Project

With the recent flag off of the construction of an international airport city in Umueri, Anambra East Local Government Area by Gov Willie Obiano of Anambra State, the vision to make the now safest State in Nigeria the first choice investment destination and a hub for commercial activities is being actualized.

The multi billion dollar airport city project is for the development, under a Build, Operate, Manage & Transfer (BOMT) arrangement of an Airport City (Aerotropolis) comprising an International Cargo Airport and an aviation fuel dump where aircrafts will fly in to refuel with the following facilities:
Two runways, passenger and VIP terminal, taxiways and aprons, fire station, control building and towers, aviation fuel dispensing facilities, airport cargo sheds, aircraft maintenance hanger, five star airport hotel and conference center, aviation training and services buildings, airport multilevel car parks, airport recreational areas, international mega shopping mall, luxury retail shopping, China wholesale depots, emergency service centers, industrial business park, etc.

The new airport project being widely applauded from within and outside the State due to its uniqueness is just one of the numerous investments valued over $7.2bn attracted within just 3 years of the present administration through the Anambra State Investment Promotion and Protection Agency, ANSIPPA.

ANSIPPA, being a one stop shop for investors run by seasoned professionals, fast tracks investment in Anambra by simplifying the process and helping quality investors to key into the prevailing socially stable and business-friendly environment in the State... Kudos to #ObianoEffect!

Thus, with us on the 31st Edition of Anambra Scorecard is Chief Joe Billy Ekwunife, the MD/CEO of ANSIPPA, and we shall be discussing the topic, "ANSIPPA and the Anambra International Airport City Project."

Here's your opportunity to know more about the new airport project! What are the opportunities? How can you participate and benefit from the project? Also, how to invest in Anambra State… Find Out!!!

Be part of the discussion on this online Live Programme where the led engage their leaders with Ifeanyi ANIAGOH as the host.

Don't miss this edition of Anambra Scorecard holding today, Thursday, April 13, 2017 by 4pm.

Follow the discussion Live on Facebook and Twitter @IfeanyiAniagoh.

Anambra Scorecard... Engage Your Leaders

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

'ANAMBRA ON THE RISE': An Address Presented by Gov Obiano During The Flag-off of The Umueri Airport City Project

The formal flag-off of the Anambra Airport City project took take place on Tuesday 11th April, 12pm, with Gov Willie Obiano addressing the mammoth crowed gathered to witness the ground breaking occassion. 

The major investor consortium is made up of Elite International Investment Ltd and China Aviation Planning and Investment Ltd partnering with Anambra State Government and Orient Petroleum Resources Ltd (OPR). Its projected total foreign direct investment is USD2.0 billion (Two billion US Dollars).

Below is an address presented by the Governor of Anambra State, His Excellency, Chief Willie Obiano at the ceremony ground.

Ndi Anambra, three years into my first term in office, I stand before you today to answer the call of history.

In Christian numerology, the number 3 is the number of perfect manifestation. So, three years into my administration, the Lord God Almighty has given us a new VISION and a new SONG!

Umu nnem, our elders say that na Ugo gbuzuo, ochakee! Anambra State has finally hit the bend in the river and our famous can-do spirit has now taken over! From now on, we have nothing more to fear! Nothing! Not even ourselves!

Ndi Anambra, when I took over the reins of leadership of this great state three years ago, I delivered an Inaugural Address titled – Expanding the Frontiers of Excellence. The historic ceremony we have gathered to perform here today is a very important step in expanding the frontiers of excellence in Anambra State!

Indeed, it is important to note that my Team and I have got a few things right in the past three years. Against all expectations and at a time of great economic recession, we have established our beloved state as a compelling investment destination and attracted investments valued at over 5 billion US Dollars. And with this airport city project, the figure now stands at 7.2 billion US Dollars. We have also successfully placed Anambra on the agricultural map and blazed a trail with the exportation of our farm produce to the UK.

In addition, we have positioned Anambra as the safest state in Nigeria and completely re-engineered the social architecture of our beloved state. Finally, we have re-awakened self-belief among our people and provoked their can-do spirit.

Ladies and gentlemen, Anambra is finally on the RISE! Ndi Anambra, what we have come to flag off in Umueri today is not your usual airport project. Mbanu! Nke anyi di iche! What we are flagging off today is an Airport City Project with a model that will accommodate an airport with two runways, an aviation fuel dump, an airport hotel, an industrial business park, an international convention centre as well as a facility for aircraft maintenance.

The Umueri airport city project is conceived to join some of the most advanced airports in the world with a capacity to land any of the most sophisticated vessels known to man today. It sits on 1500 hectares of land with enough elbowroom for expansion from Ivite Umueri to neighbouring communities such as Nando, Umunya, Otuocha, Aguleri, Nteje, Nsugbe and beyond.

The project is estimated to cost over 2 billion US Dollars. It is a partnership between the Government of Anambra State, Orient Petroleum Resources Limited and Elite International Investments Limited (Sinoking Enterprises Limited). Under the contractual agreement, Elite International Investments Limited will provide all the funds needed for the project under the Build-Operate-Manage-and-Transfer arrangement. However under the same SPV arrangement, the Anambra Airport City Infrastructure Limited has allocated 75% equity stake to Elite International Investments Limited, 20% to Oreint Petroleum Resources Limited and 5% to the Government of Anambra State. The host communities are entitled to 3% of the profit from this project in perpetuity as a part of the standard corporate social responsibility.

Indeed, the economic benefits of the Umueri Airport City Project are enormous. It is expected to generate 1,200 direct and 3600 indirect jobs. We expect that Ndi Anambra will grab 70% of these jobs in continuation of our efforts to create wealth and prosperity for our people. It will also provide an opportunity for training and skills transfer to our people.

I have no doubts whatsoever that this project will have a tremendous impact on the ease of doing business in Anambra State as it opens a direct access by air to our vast markets. In particular, I hope that on completion, the Umueri Airport City Project will wipe out the difficulties our businessmen and women often encounter in exporting and importing goods and services and help in improving the entire supply chain.

Ladies and gentlemen, with this project and our subsequent plan for a light rail project, Anambra State will eventually assume its rightful place as a major commercial and industrial hub in the West African sub-region. As you are aware, my administration is intensely focused on building projects that have immense economic values. That is why we have concentrated efforts in building roads and bridges that either lead to industrial clusters or the oilfields or the agricultural belt of the state. This Airport City Project follows the same trajectory. That is why we have established a strong synergy between Orient Petroleum Resources Plc and the Airport project with a view to operating an Aviation Fuel Segment that will attract both local and foreign airlines to refuel their aircraft in Umueri.

This will no doubt open a new economic corridor for our beloved state as it is expected to stimulate growth in the oil and gas sector and multiply our revenue sources. It is my candid hope also that when this airport becomes operational, the world will have a direct and easy access to the vast tourism offerings of Ogbunike Cave and Ogbaukwu Caves and Waterfalls as well as the timeless archaeological treasures of Igboukwu!

Ndi Anambra, our beloved state is fast opening its doors to the world. Let us join hands and welcome the benefits that knock on our collective door! Umu nnem, please, always remember that wherever you are and whatever you do, our ancestors left us with a timeless reminder that Aku luo uno, amalu onye kpalu ya!

My colleagues and I are waiting eagerly to receive you, go through your business plan and offer you the assistance you need to make your enterprise sink deep roots in the soil of Anambra State!

Ndi Anambra, chi efogo nu!
 Olugonu na omume!
God bless Anambra State!
God bless the shining light that we bear!

Willie Obiano Governor

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