The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, has inaugurated Anambra State Emergency Medical Service and Ambulance System (ASEMSAS).
Speaking during the inauguration, the Minister said apart from the Federal Capital Territory Abuja, Anambra is the first State to launch the emergency health system in the country.
Dr. Ehanire noted that the project, if fully launched across the 36 states of the federation, as mapped out will reduce mobility and mortality rate, as well as create job opportunities.
The Minister, who was represented by the Director of National Emergency Medical Service and Ambulance System (NEMSAS), Federal Ministry of Health Abuja, Dr. Saidu Ahmed Duwbuiwa, said the project will further strengthen Primary Healthcare service delivery across the country.
Dr. Ehanire commended the State Governor, Chukwuma Soludo, for making the Health Sector, major priority in his administration while announcing that Anambra has been listed first, on the National Emergency Medical Service and Ambulance System (NEMSAS) under the Federal Ministry of Health.
Gov. Chukwuma Soludo thanked the Federal Government, the Health Minister for granting his state the approval to operate the ASEMSAS while reiterating the commitment of his administration in achieving a Universal Health Coverage.
Gov. Soludo said the ASEMSAS will help to save lives as well as promote the health of the people.
The governor affirmed that his administration is paying adequate attention to the health sector.
“I commend my Commissioner for Health with his team for their efforts in making this event a reality.
“Preventable deaths can truly be prevented with this ASEMSAS launch in our beloved state,” he said.
The governor was represented at the event by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Prof. Solo Chukwulobelu.
Anambra Commissioner for Health, Dr. Afam Obidike, said officials from NEMSAS were in the state a few days ago for the final preparation, training and inspections before the official commissioning of the SEMSAS by the Minister of Health.
He explained that the State Government has facilitated the training of health personnel, drivers and members of the SEMSAS on how to operate the system after the commissioning.
According to him, 112 is the emergency line to be called whenever there is an emergency so the public should take note of this 112 for timely response of an Ambulance.
The Commissioner informed that the ASEMSAS will be private sector driven, 30 Ambulances have been registered across the state for emergency response.
Dr. Obidike noted that ASEMSAS is about service to save many avoidable lives which have been lost due to auto accident emergencies, maternal and other life-threatening emergencies.
He said; “We will continue to do our best so as to save the lives of our people, it is now left for our people to utilize this great opportunity because the system covers every part of the state.
“It is important to note that at the heart of our ASEMSAS program is a deep commitment to the safety and well-being of our citizens.
“So, we will continue to do our best so as to save the lives of our people, it is now left for our people to utilize this great opportunity because the system covers every part of the state.
“ASEMAS services are real-time, seamless, round the clock and very effective, and most importantly open to every resident of our state.’’
He commended the WHO for their continued support in the health sector of the state.
World Health Organisation (WHO) Country Representative in Nigeria, Dr. Walter Kazadi Mulombo said WHO will continue to support the state by deploying expertise, training and funding.
Dr. Francis Oguije represented the WHO Country Rep. during the event.
State Director Medical Services, ASEMSAS Coordinator, Dr. Ugochukwu Chukwulobelu explained that the accredited Ambulances, Treatment Centers are already in place to commence operations.
Dr. Chukwulobelu explained that the accredited ambulances are not corpse carrying ambulances but rather ambulances that have basic life support, advanced life support and mobile intensive care units all are well equipped for the humanitarian services.
Present at the event were Commissioners for Budget and Planning, Industry, Representatives of State Commissioner of Police, Executive Secretary Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Managing Directors of ASHIA, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital.
Others are Red Cross Officials, Heads of Public and Private hospitals in the state, Security agents, Civil Society Organisation, Traditional Rulers and the Media.