_…Decentralize activities of the HIV/AIDS State Management Team to LGAs_
The Deputy Governor, Professor Ivara Esu who chaired the state Management team for HIV/AIDS says the State has the political will and the drive to move towards zero percent reduction in HIV prevalence in the State.
Professor Esu stated this at a-one day meeting of the State Management Team (SMT) on HIV/AIDS response held in Government House, Calabar.
He said that Cross River State Government has made giants strides in the area of prevention and control of HIV/AIDS with the prevalence rate reduced to as low as 2% from 6.6%.
Professor Esu expressed happiness that the efforts the Global Fund is making to give the State grant, will enable the State further take drastic practical steps to reverse HIV trends in the country while ensuring that the prevalence rate is brought down to 0%.
The Deputy Governor assured participants that the Local Government Management Team will be put in place before the next meeting of the State Management Team to decentralize the activities of the SMT to speed up the process of achieving the zero percent HIV prevalence rate across the State. He thanked all the Development partners for their effort and support to the response.
The Commissioner for Health and Deputy Chairman of the State Management Team (SMT), Dr. Betta Edu intimated 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.
She explained that its part of efforts by the Donors to strengthen Nigeria’s Health Sector response to HIV adding 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 commended the Commissioner and 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).
Dr. Ekpo 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.
Highpoint of the event was the presentation of goodwill essages by representatives of the development/implementing partners and critical stakeholders like DG SACA and DG CRSPHCDA amongst others in the state HIV response Team
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