By Nsan Ndoma-Neji, Calabar
The Cross River State government has unveiled health a situation room which it said will assist the state Ministry of Health tackle the prevalence of HIV/AIDS and other diseases troubling people of the state, particularly in hard to reach areas.
Speaking in Calabar at the headquarters of the Cross River State Ministry of Health, during the commissioning of the health situation room, the state Deputy Governor, Prof. Ivara Esu, who represented the state governor, likened the situation room to a war situation room, where gladiators usually meet to strategize on how to execute the war, stressed that the unveiling of the situation room places the Health Ministry in vantage position to know what is happening within its facilities across the state by a mere click of a button.
In her welcome remarks, the state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Betta Edu, stated that the idea would strengthen and aide the ministry to supervise and check activities of staff, partners and performance of health facilities, which would not only be limited to HIV/AIDS but also in other health indices across the state.
She said, “This idea is to enable us supervise/checkmate the activities of staff, partners and performance of health facilities across the state, in not only HIV/AIDS, but also in other health indices.
“This is important as we kick start the State Health Insurance Scheme, Ayade Care.
“There are also several interventions that are currently ongoing to help reduce the HIV/AIDS prevalence rate with our partners, FHI360, Jpiego, Heartland Alliance, and UNICEF, working assiduously with us to ensure that we succeed.
“They have been of immense support and as a state we appreciate them. We won’t only stop at this interventions, proper treatments and drugs will also be provided to facilities to help tackle most of this challenges. We’ll keep doing more as a state and as a ministry. We won’t rest until we achieve Universal Health Coverage.”
In his remarks, the chairman of Cross River State House of Asembly Committee on Health, Dr Ekpo Ekpo Bassey, assured the state of a constant synergy between the legislature and the executive to achieve results as well as gathering of data timely and regularly, so the state can achieve universal health coverage.
Speaking also on the issue, the Director General of the State Agency for the Control of Aids, SACA, Dr Etcheri Ansa, applauded the idea stressing that the newly unveiled Situation Room shall assist to address the challenge of communication breach, especially in hard to reach areas.
She said, “This is a dream come true and I wish to thank His Excellency for his support as well as the Health Commissioner, Dr Edu and all our partners for this great achievement. With this, our HIV/AIDS prevalence rate will further be reduced from 2 per cent to zero, as this is our desire as state.”