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The Cross River Health sector has done well in delivering improved health care services to citizens and residents owing to the commitment of Governor Sen Ben Ayade and his wife Dr. Linda Ayade (who is a health professional), the Leader of the Health team Dr. Betta Edu and strong team members DGs, etc, the deliberate support of the Cross River State House of Assembly especially the finance and appropriations committee, Development partners and the health workers themselves.

In the middle of a COVID-19 pandemic, Cross River state is still able to record landmark successes in the health sector some of which includes a reduction in HIV prevalence, rank top in Nigeria for TB management and response, improved vaccination program, reduction in maternal mortality and under-five mortality, started the state Health insurance Scheme implementation (AKA AyadeCare), achieved the first college of nursing and midwifery Science in south-south Nigeria, increase salaries of Doctors to 100% CONMESS, doctors in the state earn at par with their colleagues at the federal level, implementation of Basic Health care provision Fund to cover vulnerable in the state, renovations and equipping of several General Hospitals as well as Primary health centers, nationally acknowledged management of COVID19 pandemic with good vaccine uptake and extension of health services to the over 45000 refugees from Cameroon in cross River. To mention but a few!

The 2022 budget of conjugated Agglutination signed into Law by Governor Sen Ben Ayade is expected to reflect the few gaps in the Health sector which when addressed this year will help us achieve universal Health Coverage faster. Focusing on Health-related infrastructure; the state will commission the Cross River Pharmaceutical Company and operationalize it within 6 months, the state also hopes to commission the referral Hospitals in the senatorial Districts which are at advanced stages where Ayade care services will also be rendered free of charge. Other capital investments will include expansion of Reference Laboratories, the renovation and equipping of the remaining General Hospitals and PHC facility as well as improvements on the Cold chain equipment to support the immunization program and COVID19 vaccination.

Priority will also be placed on COVID19 response, HIV response, maternal and child health, Nutrition, Family planning, mental Health, Neglected Tropical Disease, Fistula repairs, improvement of Public Health response especially around prevention of Cholera outbreak and other diseases. The budget has also provided for the new salary scale for Doctors in state employment and supports to Health institutions to produce more middle manpower health workers.

Special emphasis will be placed on both the demand and supply end of the State health insurance scheme to register at least 1 million Cross Riverians before the year runs out. This will reduce out-of-pocket expenditure which is about 70-80% and prevent catastrophic health expenses that could improvise  Cross Riverians.

The Commissioner for Health Dr. Betta Edu called for an improvement in the health allocation to meet the Abuja declaration which states that 15% of the total state budget should be allocated to Health which has a direct effect on productivity and GDP of the state.

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About Author

Hi, I,m Pospi Otuson. A Nigerian Blogger, Social Entrepreneur and Convener of the renowned Boki Business Conference. CEO/Founder of Possibility Desk, the largest online consulting platform for possibilities in the world.

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