By CrossRiverWatch admin
In a bid to drastically reduce infant and maternal mortality rate in the state, Cross River Government has set December 2016 date to attain Universal Health Coverage for its citizens.
To this end, the state, in collaboration with some donor agencies and in line with the Federal Government’s policy of establishing a functional health center in each of the political wards across the country, is embarking on comprehensive renovation and reconstruction of primary health care facilities across the 18 local government areas.
Speaking at the commissioning of one of the facilities in Aningeje, Akamkpa Local Government Area, Wife of the Governor, Dr. Linda Ayade, who was represented by the Special Adviser in her office, Mrs. Rose Eneji, admonished women to make judicious use of the facility and refrain from patronizing unskilled Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs). This she said will reduce the infant and maternal mortality rate by 75 percent.
Mrs. Ayade who is also the initiator of Mediatrix Development Foundation, a Non-Governmental Organization concerned with health of women and children in the state, however, regretted that despite the free health care program for pregnant women and children under five years in the state, some women still patronize unskilled birth attendants.
She urged all stakeholders to join forces with government in sensitizing the populace on the danger of this practice to change the ugly trend.
She thanked donor agencies operating in the state for their support, maintaining that the state will not rest on it oars in ensuring that the citizens, no matter where they live, have access to qualitative health care services while also urging the community to take ownership of the center to derive maximum benefit.
Commissioner for Health, Dr. Inyang Asibong, restated that “the state was taking a lead in healthcare delivery at the grassroots level in country being the first to start implementation of the one functional health center per ward initiative of the Federal Government through massive renovation and reconstruction of health centers across the 18 local government areas.”
She disclosed that the “Aningeje Health Center was fully equipped with state-of-the-art facilities comparable to any standard clinic in the world in addition to the installation of solar panel that will ensure uninterrupted power supply and a borehole to guarantee constant water supply which she noted are essential components of any standard healthcare facility .”
Also speaking, the Director General, Cross River State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Betta Edu, who described the event as a dream come true recalled: “A few months ago, we had the boost of the Wife of the President, Aisha Buhari, when she physically commissioned two of our health posts in Ikom Local Government Area during the launch of her pet project’ “Future Assured”, and today with the commissioning of the facility, the Governor, Professor Ben Ayade has proved to the world that Cross River State will continue to take the lead as it concerns Primary Health Care delivery in Nigeria.”
To ensure that women patronize the facility, Beta disclosed that “We have instituted an incentive for TBAs to make referrals to all our clinics to patronize health facilities across the state.
Continuing, she stressed: “Our intention is to allow TBAs play referral roles as we gradually persuade our women from patronizing untrained birth attendants coupled with the enforcement of our regulations that forbid unskilled TBAs in churches and other homes from doing any form of child delivery in their domain.
“All our facilities are complemented with trained health professionals and their capacities now built on how to be more receptive to their host community who will in turn patronize the facilities by forsaking other unhygienic and dead centers. And as we speak, the results are tremendous because we have more people using our facilities across the state.”
The DG averred that “With this incentives being introduced, coupled with our aggressive advocacy and community mobilization programs that are ongoing, we are poised and very determined like never before to achieve 15 percent Universal Health Courage (UHC) in the state.”
In his remarks, representative of United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Cross River sub-office, Dr. Yakubu Aliyu, said: “We have invested approximately 50, 000 USD to ensure that this facility meets the aspirations of the people.”
He noted that the facility was renovated with the aim of improving access to emergency obstetric and neonatal care (EmONC) in line with the Federal Government policy of one functional PHC per ward and urged the community to take ownership of the facility as well as ensure adequate utilization of the services offered by the government.
Also speaking the clan head of Aningeye, Ntufam Ededem Etim Archibong described the project as apt as it will help to improve the living condition of his people and promised to mobilize his subjects to patronize the facility as well as ensure protection alongside routine sanitation within and around the clinic.
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