By Jonathan Ugbal
The Federal Government has commended the strides made by the Cross River State Government in bringing the Primary Health Care (PHC) system under one roof saying it is currently ahead of other states in the implementation of the policy.
The Executive Secretary, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) Professor Echezona Ezeanolue stated this during the EU-SIGN/NPHCDA bi-annual review meeting held in Abuja where he said that the assessment graph for 2015 – 2016 shows the state is near the 100% mark, up from just 15% in the 2014-2015 assessment graph.
Represented by the Director Logistics and Health Coordination in the Agency, Professor Ezeanolue said that Cross River state in the last one year has given its State Primary Health Care Development Agency (CRSPHCDA) a legislative backing following the assenting to the bill by governor Ben Ayade which led to its full implementation, adding that; “With a budget and (that) the state is in the process of moving the PHC workers to the agency, no other state has been able to achieve such feat in one year.”
Ezeanolue who called on other states to show commitment so that the Sustainable Development Goal 3 and Universal HEalth Coverage can be achieved added that; “Furthermore, the one PHC per ward policy has made more progress in Cross River State than any other state in Nigeria. As at the last count, Cross River State is the only state that has completed 4 PHC in 4 wards following this new policy. In one of those occasion, the wife of the president was there to commission it in person.”
The Acting Head of EU-SIGN Nigeria, Dr. Aminatu for her part said that Cross River State as well as a few others were a viable ground for development partners as investment in health in this states produce great results and disclosed that EU-SIGN will continue to support states to improve their immunization coverage by providing Cold chain equipment like Direct Solar Refrigerators, repairing broken down cold chain equipment, building cold stores for states, providing vehicles for immunization as well as providing imprest for immunization logistic officers and called on the state to officially carry out their EU-SIGN flag off as they are among the few states left.
In her remarks, the Director General of CRSPHCDA, Dr. Betta Edu appreciated the commendations from NPHCDA to the Cross River State health team. She pointed out that very huge investments have been made by the state to improve the quality of health care delivery to the people and called on EU-SIGN to complete the Cold Store in the state within the shortest possible time.
Futhermore, she said more can be done if the federal government and development partners give more support to Cross River State. “The Governor of Cross River State wishes to achieve the one PHC per ward in 2 years, hit an immunization coverage of 100% and reduce maternal mortality by 15% in the next 2 years. This is very achievable if we all work together” She said.
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