His Excellency, Sen. Prof Ben Ayade who was ably represented by the Deputy Governor Prof Ivara Esu yesterday flag off the European Union Support to Immunization in Nigeria (EU SIGN) project in Cross River. Speaking, the Governor said Cross River is lucky to be among the 23 states of the federation chosen to benefit from the project by EU SIGN. ” I have been reliably informed that in the couple of weeks from now our state shall take full delivery of 4 wheel drive vehicle to support vaccines push to the various LGAs while the repair of motorcycles, tricycles, computer and faulty equipment will also be carried out very soon. I want to specifically thanked European Union for its kind of gesture in rendering such invaluable services to us.
He called on EU SIGN to complete the uncompleted projects in Cross River before rounding up their present project. These projects includes the renovation of state cold store and repairs of the cold chain equipment. The present administration will make the best effort in bettering the health status of Cross Riverians in both rural and urban areas. we have established firmly our new State Primary Healthcare Development Agency and are working on full implementation of Primary Healthcare under one roof. With the full implementation of the innovative AYADECARE state health insurance scheme law which is pivotal to the State Health Insurance Scheme, Cross River Will be on its way to achieving Universal healthcare in a short time said the Governor.
Speaking also, Dr Betta Edu said EU SIGN have been giving support to the state in recent times . However today we are officially flagging off the project ” EU Support to Immunisation in Nigeria” Their emphasis is on routine immunization and Primary healthcare under one roof. According to the DG, EU SIGN have successfully trained monitoring and evaluation officers, Cold chain officers, supplied the state with 10 direct solar refrigerator which the Agency have so far distributed to 10 LGAs across 3 senatorial districts.
“His Excellency, Prof Ben Ayade who is so passionate about healthcare in the state have approved a permanent site for agency. He has also signed into law the bill for State Health Insurance Scheme which is one of the greatest achievement of this Government. The scheme also known as AYADECARE is a sustainable and smart form of health care financing; apt in the face of economic recession. It is targeted at improving accessibility and quality of healthcare services which will help strengthen primary healthcare delivery in the state. I commend the efforts of Hon. Commissioner for health Dr Inyang Asibong who is unavoidable absent. On behalf of the Agency, I thank EU SIGN for their good work in the state and I encourage them to do more said the DG.
Earlier Speaking, Dr Anthony Ayeke, Head of EU delegation representing Head of EU Mission to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Ambassador Michael Arrion said the launching of EU project in Calabar is a demonstration of His Excellency, Prof Ben Ayade great leadership qualities and his commitment to improving health status of women and children. He eulogize the Governor over his support towards establishing State Primary Healthcare Agency in line with Primary Healthcare Under One Roof initiative for more effective delivery and streamlining of PHC services which is a key objective of the EU SIGN support across the country. While seeking to know if the Governor was a Medical Doctor, He noted that the Governor deserves a Honorary Award as an expert in public health administration because he has built foundation of the health sector in a short time in office. He concluded by requesting that government demonstrate reciprocity to partnership and support by continuing to provide an enabling environment that allows for effective development cooperation in terms of security, mobilization of domestic resources for health and commitment to long term human capital and infrastructural development in the state as he has started .
Chairman House committee on Health, Hon (Dr) Ekpo Ekpo Bassey stated the commitment of the house of Assembly on routine immunization and strengthening of healthcare in the state. “We have resolved to support primary healthcare under one roof and provide necessary legislative back up to policies that will better our healthcare delivery said Hon. Ekpo.
Present at the Flag off was Chairman Civil Service Commission, Mr Peter Adigep and Chairman of Chairmen, Dr Patrick Ene Okon who jointly acknowledged the effort of EU SIGN in Cross River especially in immunization and capacity building which their people in the LGA and civil commission have benefited. NPHCDA, WHO, UNICEF, CHAI, FHI360, CUSO, PATHFINDER, Nigerian medical Association CRS chapter Royal traditional rulers, had representatives who gave Godswill messages while the state team included Director Primary Healthcare, Dr Ana Onebiene, Representative of Commissioner of Health, Elder (Mrs) Comfort Ekanem and Chief Superintendent of General Hospital Calabar, Head of EU SIGN CRS, Dr Bassey Ikpeme and their TAT leader , Madam Aminata Sidibe ably represented by Dr James Onoja Attah.