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Friday, June 30, 2017

Anambra To Set Up Emergency Medical Response Unit

Anambra State government has concluded plans to establish an emergency health services unit, to be known as “Anambra State Integrated Emergency Medical Services” (ASIEMS), to respond to emergencies.

Joe Akabuike, the state’s commissioner for health, while presenting the scheme to stakeholders at the ministry’s conference hall, in Awka, emphasized the need for the state to have a well-coordinated emergency response unit that would synergise with various agencies and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to respond to 24 hours emergencies, such as road accidents, fire outbreaks, among others.

Akabuike explained that the exercise when fully implemented, would improve response to emergency situations in the state.

In his words, “We found out that the state does not have a coordinating emergency unit, so that when, for instance there is a fire outbreak or road accidents, you find the victims lying there and waiting at the mercy of the passerby.

“We felt that in this global world such things, should not happen, because we have the facilities, manpower, and all the things needed to make sure that accident victims are attended to within 15 minutes, wherever the accident occurred and that is why we came up with ASIEMS.”

He also explained that the synergy among the team members in times of emergencies would help to reduce deaths when accidents occur anywhere in the state. He noted that there would be a coordinating unit with a toll free call number, which members of the public would call, during accidents and other emergencies and to alert other units to dispatch ambulances and other needed facilities, to the scene of the emergencies.

He also noted that trauma centres, state hospitals and mission hospitals would be selected to be in-charge under the supervision of the State Ministry of Health.

Jude-Kennedy Emejulu, chairman, Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Anambra State chapter, commended the state government for the plan and advised that the exercise should commence immediately, for the public to start benefiting from it.

Ebele Egoh, public relations officer, Ministry of Health, Anambra State, told BusinessDay that ASIEMS team comprises-State Ministry of Health, State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Mobile Paramedics, Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Armed Forces, Police, Fire Service, Civil Defence Corps, Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), private organisations operating ambulances or hearse services, teaching hospitals, representatives of mission hospitals, among others.

By Godfrey Ofurum

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