Following the March, 2017 World Health Organization’s forum for Operational Research on Neglected Tropical Diseases (COR-NTD) in Geneva where His Excellency the Governor of Cross River State, Sen. (Prof) Ben Ayade, made a presentation on the workplan towards the elimination of NTDs in the State, Cross River State yet again received a nomination to attend and present the State NTD elimination framework at the biggest International conference on Tropical Medicine, the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene Conference held in Baltimore, Maryland.
Also, the World Bank Global Flagship Course on Health Systems Strengthening and Sustainable Financing is a meeting organized by the World Bank to brainstorm on the burden of healthcare financing as the world is tilting towards attaining Universal Health Coverage. The meeting which held in Washington DC and had representatives from over 30 countries in attendance, sought to give a clearer understanding to the merits of UHC, and also proffer solutions to tackling challenges towards achieving UHC. The theme of this year’s meeting was ‘The Challenge of Universal Health Coverage’.
This year, Cross River State was the only State in Nigeria nominated by USAID, as the State has been adjudged by USAID as having the best Health Insurance law in the country. The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Inyang Asibong, who represented the State in both events shared with the rest of the world how they are making steady progress towards attaining UHC before the year 2030 target. It is worthy of note that the State health sector within the past two years has made significant progress in terms of healthcare delivery, with the most recent achievement being the success story from Bekwarra LGA as the LGA pre-elimination status during the just concluded pre-transmission and actual transmission assessment survey for Lymphatic Filariasis even without completing the five rounds of treatment.
The State also joined other Countries in sharing their experience at the 66th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH) held in Baltimore, Maryland. The ASTMH Annual Meeting is a five-day educational conference that draws approximately 4,600 attendees from tropical medicine and global health professionals representing academia, government, non-profits, philanthropy, NGOs, industry, military and private practice.
With all these steady and consistent steps taken by the Cross River State Government, it can be said that, with the support so far demonstrated by the Governor Ben Ayade led Administration, the State is on it’s way to achieving Universal Health Coverage.