Charles Ekanem|15 September 2018
Stakeholders in Cross River State Health Sector have converged in the Canaan City of Calabar for the maiden State Council on Health meeting (SCH) theme: Cross River State Strategic Health Development Plan II, A Road map to Universal Healthcare from 11th-13th September, 2018.
Cross River State Governor, Senator (Prof) Prof Ben Ayade ably represented by the Deputy Governor, Prof Ivara Ejemot Esu said the purpose of SCH meeting was to discuss issues on health policy in view of attaining Universal Healthcare Coverage.
He noted that Cross River State Government has maintained his position in the country as a frontier in policy formulation, infrastructural development and capital growth for the benefit of the State citizens and its environs. This according to him is evident in infrastructural strides in the health sector which runs from the creeks of Bakassi to the hills of Obanliku.
Ayade went further to state that Ayadecare launched, establishment of calabar pharmaceutical company, ongoing construction of three referral hospitals, rehabilitation of general hospitals across the state with emphasis on maternity wards, building of several new comprehensive PHCs and refurbishment of comprehensive primary health care centers across the state.
Amongst the achievement listed by the Governor were 20 containers load of state of art equipments for PHC and General hospital, massive development and employment of human resources in the healthcare across the state which underlines the desire of the State to maintain status quo as number one in healthcare delivery in the country.
Also Speaking, Commissioner for Health, Dr Inyang Asibong said the aimed of the meeting is to achieve universal healthcare coverage in cross river state by ensuring healthy lives and promoting the health of all.
"If we have functional healthcare centres at the grass root level, reporting system would be very effective and any outbreak of disease would be nip in the bud, there would be no room for epidemics says Dr Asibong. She said the achievement of the Governor in the health sector is enormous with the re accreditation of the 6 schools of nursing which were morribound and closed before this administration came on board
Director General of Cross River State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr Betta Edu during her welcome remarks said Cross River State cannot achieve universal health coverage without the support of the stakeholders in the health sector.
Dr Edu said the Governor of Cross River State, Prof Ben Ayade has been supersonic and committed to healthcare development and as such the meeting is a pathway to Universal Health coverage and further improvement of health sector in Cross River.
She added that bringing healthcare to the grass root, operationalising it at the Primary Healthcare Centres with adequate equipment and man power would give opportunity to Nigerians to enjoy access to quality healthcare services.
Representative of the Minister for Health and a Director Federal Ministry of Health, Aliu Umar Gubio said he is delighted to see Cross River State taking the lead in holding the state council of health meeting which decision taken will be forwarded to national council of health meeting for consideration.
According to him the federal ministry of health will continue to partner with the state to ensure that universal healthcare coverage is achieved. He commended the state for giant stride achieved in mother and child health delivery.
Highlight of the event was presentation of Awards to some partners, staff of the Ministry.
Present at the opening ceremony were State Attorney General, Barr Joe Abang, Commissioner of Local Government Affairs, John Ulafor, Commissioner for Information, Women Affairs, Mrs Rosemary Archibong and Mrs Stella Orey Odey while key goodwill messages were delivered by Chairman House Committee on Health, Dr Ekpo Ekpo Bassey, representatives of NPHCDA, WHO, Pathfinders, Marie Stopes amongst others.
Charles Ekanem writes from Calabar