By Nsan Ndoma-Neji, Calabar
A civil society organisation, CSO, the Civil Society for Malaria Control, Immunization and Nutrition, ACOMIN, has promised to scale up its advocacy for the upgrading of dilapidated health facilities in two communities in Cross River State – Woleche-Utukpo community in Yala Local Government Area and Creek Town community, in Odukpani Local Government Area of the state, respectively.
Cross River State Coordinator of ACOMIN, Pastor Effiong Udobong, made this known during an advocacy visit to the office of the Permanent Secretary, Cross River State Health Insurance Agency, Dr. Comfort Ekpeyong, as well as visit to Director-General, DG, of the Cross River State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Deaconess Abasioffiong Offiong, on Thursday in Calabar.
Udobong stated that the advocacy embarked upon by the organisation would help to draw attention of the state government to the facilities with the aim of working with the network and local communities to put make the facilities work.
ACoMIN, which received its funding from the Global Fund, according to Udobong, pledged to do everything within its reach to ensure that the right thing is done to ensure that the healthcare facilities in the rural communities work.
The state coordinator averred that the communities lacked the capacity to handle the issues themselves, hence the rationale behind ACOMIN’s decision to scale up advocacy in that direction to facilitate intervention.
Udobong maintained that the purpose of the advocacy is to ensure that people in these communities have access to quality healthcare services for the eradication of those diseases that can be eradicated.
While giving an insight to why the visit became neccesary, the coordinator said, “We paid the advocacy visit because the community lead monitoring team escalated issues of abandoned health facilities in Yala and dilapidated maternity ward in Creek Town.
“They could not handle these issues at the community level, and so referred us to see how we can resolve the issue to ensure that a new facility is built in Yala community that has the issue.
“And in Creek Town, we intervened in the facility to ensure that the people access quality health services there.
“The Primary Health Care Development Agency is a key stakeholder that can help in this regard.
“Most importantly, we have heard from an organization working there that the community have made some materials available to support the construction of that facility.
“Advocacy is a key strategy to be able to solve issues.”
Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary, Cross River State Health Insurance Scheme Agency, Dr. Ekpenyong, stated that partnering with the network is really what will spur up implementation, monitoring, and service delivery.
Ekpeyong stated that plans are underway to address this major health challenge in the state, stressing that the network is like a watchdog in health care service delivery.
In his remarks, the DG of the Cross River State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Deaconess Offiong, averred that if there is any thing the state government is interested in, it is to prioritize service delivery in the rural areas.
The DG maintained that government is fully prepared to intervene in the dilapidated facilities by assisting to rehabilitate the facilities and posting staff and equipments to the healthcare facilities.