Calabar, 09 August, 2017 - The first Cross River Summit anchored on Human Resource for Health (HRH) on Primary Health Care (PHC) revitalization with the theme ‘Translating Health Policies and Plans into Action” was conducted in Calabar, the state capital on 7-8 August, 2017.
The summit which was held with a view to creating avenue for discussion and synthesizing the opinions of people of Cross River state on achieving Universal Health Coverage, targeted different stakeholders within the health sector.
In his keynote address at the occasion, the WHO Country Representative (WR), Dr Wondimagegnehu Alemu appreciated the Governor of Cross River states Professor Ben Ayade, for demonstrating keen interest in the health sector. He commended the state government for providing quality healthcare services that is in sync with National objectives of achieving universal health coverage.
“As you are all aware, WHO and Cross River State Government have a long history of collaborating on different health interventions including Polio eradication, routine immunization, surveillance, outbreak detection/response and disease control, improving reproductive health and more recently health systems strengthening interventions through the Human Resource for Health Project amongst others” the WR said.
He noted that like most states in Nigeria, Cross River state is faced with the chronic shortages, uneven distribution and retention of health workers especially in rural areas, which makes it even more difficult for the health sector to provide the much-needed quality health care services required to mitigate the current human development indices.
To strengthen the state health system, Dr Alemu reiterated WHO continued commitment whilst stressing the need for the state to rehabilitate three health-training institutions in the state in order to gain accreditation.
At the end of the 2-day Summit, the WR handed over buses to the Nigeria’s Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole as part of WHO’s support for expediting the accreditation of 3 Schools of Nursing and Midwifery in the State so as to increase the number of frontline health workers necessary for achieving Universal health coverage.
In his speech at the occasion, The Governor of the state who was represented by Deputy Governor, Professor Ivara Esu assured of government commitment to providing comprehensive, affordable and quality health care services to the people of the State in line with the government policies that were officially launched during the Health summit.
Funding for Enhancing the Ability of Frontline Health Workers to Improve Health in Nigeria project is provided by Global Affairs Canada through the World Health Organization.