By Jonathan Ugbal: Government House Correspondent
Cross River State is set to benefit increased support from the United States on Malaria, Maternal and Child Health says the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) CrossRiverWatch can authoritatively report.
Michael Harvey, the Mission Director of USAID disclosed this Wednesday, in Abuja when he received the wife of the Governor of Cross River State, Linda Ayade who continued her visit to developing partners to gather support for the health sector in the state where he expressed happiness at the will shown by the state in areas that USAID is interested in.
“I am very happy that Cross River State has shown strong political will almost unequal to other states in Nigeria” Harvey said, adding that; “We are interested in Malaria, Child health and Maternal health (and) we are happy that all the programs are centred on these areas and we will work with you and the health sector in Cross River State”.
However, Harvey who stressed that the support is due to the commitment showed by the wife of the governor, also pointed out that to Ayade that; “you need to increase the health budget and ensure quick budgetary release” and called on her to Advocate for the increase of budgetary provision for maternal and child health to the house of assembly
USAID had terminated their support for Malaria programs when the Malaria Action Program for States (MAPS), a USAID sponsored program ended a few months back. Harvey who invited Ayade to the Saving Mother Giving Lives conference in October which will be held in Calabar where she is expected to deliver and address on Nigeria’s and the state’s commitment to tackle issues concerning Malaria, Maternal and Child Health also informed her that a team will be coming in to have a discussion on how they can partner with her and the state on their Malaria projects.
Earlier, Ayade whose visit to the USAID is in continuation of her drive for support of programs of the Mediatrix Development Foundation said part of the programs launched to end Malaria was the Hunt Malaria Initiative which aims at establishing 150 Hunt Malaria Clubs which are school based across the state to get more support and ambassadors to ‘end malaria for good’.
She also listed several projects carried out by the foundation and targeted at Maternal and Child Health in the state, her plans and achievements so far.
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