By Jonathan Ugbal
The Cross River State government it is administration is committed to achieving Universal health coverage and reducing to insignificant levels, maternal Mortality rates.
The health commissioner, Inyang Asibong stated this Monday, at the opening ceremony of the Cross River State Primary Health Care Development Agency (CRSPHCDA) Multi-Year Operational Plan (MOP) meeting at the Obudu mountain resort with the theme, “Charting A New Course For Quality Primary Health Care Delivery In Cross River State”.
Asibong who said “Cross River State is one of the few states that has begun implementing the ‘1 Functional PHC Per Ward’ initiative with the renovation of 5 Primary Healthcare Centers so far across the state” stressed that the state has made giant strides in the health sector.
She described the timing for the MOP meeting was apt as it will be streamlined with the ‘Save One Million Lives’ initiative funded by the federal government which aims at revitalizing the Primary Health Care system with the state also boosting the system with the re absorption of 18 Medical Doctors previously with the Tulsi Chanrai foundation to ensure quality and accessible healthcare delivery in the state.
On maternal mortality, Asibong said that “I am confident that we will be able to reduce maternal mortality to insignificant levels as well as achieve Universal Health coverage in Cross River State within one year”.
Earlier, the Director General of the Agency, Dr. Betta Edu in her opening speech pointed out the need for a blueprint that will aid the agency achieve universal health coverage and sustainable integration with the federal government and developing partner’s programs.
She said that the document’s skeletal structure will be based on 8 thematic areas which include leadership and governance for health, health service delivery, human resources for health, financing for health, national health management information system, partnership for health, community participation for health and research for health all in support of the primary health care under one roof policy.
Betta who also lauded the governor, Ben Ayade for making the health of Cross Riverians a priority and his wife, Linda Ayade whom she said through her Mediatrix foundation has contributed immensely to the Primary Health Care system in the state, also said that, “Truly, the Primary Health Care system in Cross River State is strong with 1013 health posts, health centres, primary healthcare centres, comprehensive primary healthcare centres and model primary healthcare centres across the length and breadth of the state.
However, all these will amount to almost nothing if the Agency tasked with the mandate of coordinating all these does not have a target, benchmark and standards for operation, and a comprehensive, strong skeletal, yet flexible operational and administrative system that ensures the maximum utilization of available resources for maximal performance and productivity with such finesse, panache and elegance that its running will be fluent, with grace and grandeur from the microscopic and minutest to the bulky and humongous detail”.
Also, the chairman, committee on health in the house of assembly, Honourable Ekpo Ekpo Bassey pledged the support of the legislature to the creation of agency and passing of the amended law for its full repositioning.
As earlier reported, health experts, staff and board of the agency and developing partners from UNICEF, USAID, UNFPA, CUSO, WHO, Pathfinders International, FHI360, UNAIDS, INTRAHEALTH, CHAI were all present at the ceremony which began a week long meeting to produce the MOP and is scheduled to end on Friday, July 22, 2016.
In a related development, the bill seeking to amend the Primary Health Care Development law of 2011 has passed through second reading on the floor of the Cross River State house of assembly CrossRiverWatch can authoritatively report.
The bill which was debated during Tuesday’s plenary seeks to give more definition and scope to the agency which was not created till March 2016, almost five years after it was passed.
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