By Richard NDOMA, Calabar
The Cross River State Commissioner for Health, Dr Betta has assured the people of the State of the ministry’s plan to ensure that target for prevalence of HIV/ AIDs is brought to zero level.
Edu stated this in Calabar while speaking at a-one day meeting of the State Management Team (SMT) on HIV/AIDS response held in Calabar at the Cross River State Government House, Calabar.
Edu stated that state has the political will and the drive to move towards zero percent reduction in HIV prevalence in the State stressing that state has made a giants strides in the area of prevention/ control of HIV/AIDS with the prevalence rate reduced to as low as 2% from 6.6%.
Edu who also doubles as the deputy chairman for the state management team Stressed that Cross River State has been selected among five (5) States as sub recipients from an international funding partners called ‘Global Fund’ with the aim to support Nigeria in the fight against AIDS, Tuberculosis, Malaria and to attract and invest additional resources to end the epidemics in Nigeria and the States selected in particular.
Edu averred that its part of efforts by the Donors to strengthen Nigeria’s Health Sector response to HIV/AIDs stressing that grants will come to the state, through the state AIDS and STIs Control Programme (SASCP) of the Ministry of Health. Dr Edu further stated some achievements of the state as we are the first and only state with a functional SMT for HIV/AIDS, the first state to have developed its Road map and annual operational Plan, as well as Monitoring and Evaluation plan for service delivery for HIV/AIDS in the entire south south region.
On his part, the Chairman House Committee on Health in the State Assembly, Rt. Hon. Ekpo Bassey lauded the state Ministry of Health, SACA, Stakeholders and development/implementing partners for making it possible for the state to be selected as sub recipients(SR) of the Global Fund (GF).
The lawmaker, however maintained that the 2% prevalence rating for Cross River State is not good enough and advised that more should be done to reduce it to a very insignificant level and pledged that the House of Assembly will continue to partner with the State Executive Council in terms of necessary legislation and budgetary appropriations, to support better Health Care delivery for the people.