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Cross River Is A Model Of Development - US Envoy

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SAN FRANCISCO, April 14, (THEWILL) â€' The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Country Director, Mr.

Michael Harvey, has described Cross River State as a model of transformation in Nigeria.

Harvey who made the assessment when he led a team of USAID Mission to Governor Imoke on a courtesy visit in Government House, Calabar, yesterday, disclosed that, 'For USAID, Cross River State is a very significant state.

'It is one state that we are optimistic about, one we are happy with, because it is an example of where Nigeria is taking leadership to and it is really driving modernization in the country and where things are getting done rightly.

While lauding Imoke for his passion in driving healthcare services as well as his reputation in building human and institutional capacity, the Country Director said, 'We particularly want to thank you sir, because I know the personal commitment you have made to enhance and extend quality of healthcare services in the state, particularly at the institutional level and making sure that you build institutional capacity in terms of human capital and other infrastructure to strengthen the sector and make the services stronger.

He pointed out that 'there has been a lot of concern in this state and across the country about the HIV incident of mother to child transmission and one of the things we are very optimistic about is the investment that you are making in the primary healthcare delivery platform.

You have built a platform that we can leverage on to tackle some of the challenges, especially mother to child transmission.

'We will rely very heavily on that because of the huge investment we are making in this sector.

HIV is the most prominent amongst our programmes.
So, much of what we rely on for effective HIV programme requires a strong foundation of basic healthcare delivery, particularly the primary health.

He reiterated the US government's commitment to work in Nigeria for long term because according to him, 'Nigeria is incredibly important to United States in Africa and we want to see her stand out and take the leadership role in Africa.

Responding, Governor Imoke said: 'For us in Cross River, we are committed to ensuring that we have one health facility for not more than 300 hundred families.

It is something we think would go a long way and we have made good progress in establishing new health posts.

'But what really is exciting is the ability to work with the community which we see as critical stakeholders in this business if you must get the desired result.

He averred that the state would continue to pay particular attention to primary healthcare, saying: 'It is important that as we expand access to healthcare which is very critical with the integration of USAID programmes to primary health, it would have tremendous impact on the partnership and reach many more persons, particularly those at the grassroots level, to meet the MDGs in the state.

While announcing the state's commitment in providing logistics and support to USAID healthcare programmes in the state, Imoke said, 'We are beginning to see returns on our investment.

There is a tremendous increase in capacity at various levels and we have already seen the impact of some of your supports, especially in the area of training and capacity development which we consider as a very important component of an exercise such as this.

Earlier, Special Adviser, Department International Development, Mr.

Roy Ndoma-Egba, disclosed that recently, with the support of other partners, they have been able to integrate health data management programme to ensure that the state's health data comes through a single window and common platform where everyone can speak to empirically and scientifically too.