22,929 PERSONS UNDER ANTI RETROVIRAL THERAPY CARE IN CROSS RIVER STATE.
His Excellency, Senator ( Prof ) Ben Ayade has assured partners and people living with HIV in the state of increase funding to HIV program in the state. This was the message from the just concluded HIV Summit organised by SACA.
In her opening remarks, Director General of Cross River State Agency For Control of AIDS, Dr Rosemary Nyambi said the essence of the summit theme ” Domestic Resource Mobilization for sustainability of Cross River State HIV response is for key stakeholders in the health sector to discuss and chart way forward for a sustainable affordable and effective response to HIV situation in the state. approaches and strategies for resource mobilization will be our focus.
Honorable Commissioner for Health, Dr Inyang Asibong said given the dwindling finances from external sources, it is was necessary for the State to step up HIV & AIDS funding and take leadership by increasing domestic funding of HIV & AIDS services in the State and Local Government level through domestic resource mobilization for sustainable HIV response in the State.
Dr Asibong said in Cross River State there is a sustainability roadmap for HIV & AIDS as she launched the State HIV & AIDS Strategic Plan for 2017-2021 on behalf of the Governor. HIV sustainability program had started in Ikom by the directive of His Excellency, Senator ( Prof) Ben Ayade with a total 22, 929 persons currently receiving comprehensive ART care in the State.
Earlier Speaking, Director General of Cross River State Primary Healthcare Agency, Dr Betta Edu said the state government would work hard to reduce the trend by training its workforce, collaborating with stakeholders and mounting aggressive sensitisation campaigns across the State.
She noted that already her Agency has taken sensitisation campaigns to the Creeks in Calabar South Local Government Area were hundreds of teenage pregnant girls have been sensitize on family planning, use of condom and abstinence to stop spread of HIV.
Also Speaking, Dr Olusoji from UNICEF noted that over the years and presently UNICEF has been supporting the State on PMTCT and will not relent their effort until the scourge of HIV defeated across the Country.
UNFPA Head of Cross River State Office, Ken Ehouzou added that UNFPA and UNICEF in collaboration with key State Partners and over 15 NGOs notably Mediatrix Development Foundation hosted the first ever HIV & AIDS Prevention Campaign for young people and vulnerable population as part of popular Calabar Carnival which witness record breaking of over 5,000 people tested, 263,000 condoms distributed and 63,000 IEC materials disseminated.
Other notable speakers were Head of FHI360 in Cross River State, Dr Henry Ayuk, Mr Ibiam Azu of Health Finance and Governance, Representative of Commissioner for Women Affairs, AHF, LOPIN3, Save the Children, ECEWS, Heartland Alliance In’t, Interfaith and Moslem networks, CISHAN, CRINEPWHAN amongst others.