By Jonathan Ugbal: Government House Correspondent
Two health developing partners, Pathfinder International (PI) and FHI 360 have expressed their willingness to partner with the wife of Cross River State Governor, Dr. Linda Ayade on HIV/AIDS, maternal and child health through her Mediatrix Development Foundation (MDF).
The State Program Managers of PI, Dr. Yemisi Femi-Pius and FHI 360, Dr. Henry Ayuk made this known while briefing Dr. Ayade on the roles played by their respective organizations in the health sector in Cross River State.
Yemisi in her briefing said PI had achieved a lot in the state in terms of sexual and reproductive health. According to her the organization which is a global leader in that field is currently implementing the Saving Mothers, Giving Life (SMGL) initiative in the state with funding from USAID which “Aims to increase the coverage and quality of maternal and neonatal health, as well as improve delivery outcomes in 53 public and faith based health facilities and 20 private for profit health facilities across all 18 local government areas of Cross River State from 2014 – 2017.
“The overall goal of this initiative is to reduce maternal mortality ratio and neonatal mortality rate by 15 percent and 10 percent respectively from baseline data collation and validation in SMGL supported facilities.”
Yemisi who said a new project tagged “Hello MAMA”, which is a mobile health project aimed at complementing the SMGL project with a goal to improve demand for institutional maternal and child health services in supported facilities through stage-based messaging services in audio and SMS formats, pointed out to Dr. Ayade that Pathfinder was always ready to partner with her foundation to ensure their goals and those of the foundation which are quite similar will be achieved.
For his part, Dr. Ayuk said FHI 360 has been operating in the state since 2003 and have since achieved a lot in the areas of data collation and policy implementation for HIV/AIDs as well as carry out several interventions and contribute immensely to the growth of the health sector in the state.
“Since 2013, we have intervened in about 450 Primary Health Care facilities out of the over 1,000 we reached out to and we have trained up to about 80 percent of the staff rendering medical services on AIDS related issues” he said.
Ayuk decried a situation where due to the fact that HIV/AIDS has been at the forefront of national and international discourse, people no longer took it serious and called for the step up of efforts while disclosing that an aide of Dr. Ayade, Jeffery Adamade was already being trained on program management.
Responding, Dr. Ayade thanked the teams for their support to MDF and noted that the thematic areas the foundation has as its focus, is related to the issues raised in the briefing of both team leaders.
She called on them to support the foundation in its forthcoming Strategic and Multi Year Work Plan meeting to develop a plan that will guide the foundation’s steps in a medium term approach.
Also, the Director General of the State’s Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Betta Edu and an aide to Dr. Ayade on Health Initiatives, Jeffery Adamade in their remarks, stressed on the need for the developing partners to support the foundation, financially and technically as well as route MDF into their implementation plans to gain wider coverage.
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