By: Eyo Offiong.
The Cross River State Commissioner for International Development Cooperation, Dr. Inyang Asibong has stated that modalities have been put in place to ensure full mapping of development partners across the State for ease of coordination and implementation of development action plans.
Dr Asibong stated this when she received the Country Director of Fhi360, Dr. Salma Anas-Kolo and her team in the Ministry’s Headquarters in Calabar.
The Commissioner expressed her Ministry’s desire towards effective coordination of development support programmes in the State and acknowledged Fhi360’s technical support to Cross River State in the health sector, noting that more effort needs to be expedited in the area of HIV/AIDS in order to further reduce the prevalence rate of the pandemic disease to the barest minimum, if not completely eradicated in the State
The International Development Cooperation Commissioner, who described Fhi360 as a family, reminisced nostalgically about her time as a volunteer with United State Agency for International Development (USIAD)-supported Organization, as well as synergy enjoyed during her stint as the State Commissioner for Health, reiterated the Governor Ben Ayade-led administration’s commitment to partnering with relevant International agencies to aggregate the desired development for Cross River State and the nation at large.
In her remarks, Fhi360 Country Director, Dr. Salma Anas-Kolo, congratulated Dr. Asibong on her well deserved appointment as Commissioner for International Development Cooperation, pointing out that her re-appointment was by dint of hard work and creditable strides recorded during her time as the Commissioner for Health in the present administration’s first tenure.
Dr. Anas-Kolo took time to reel out programmes and support of Fhi360 in the State, adding that the United States funded organization carries out 99% of HIV treatment in the State, a feat she maintained, has “drastically reduced the prevalence rate down to 2%. She also stated that Fhi360 will not rest in its resolve to achieving zero prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS in Nigeria.
The Fhi360 Country Director stressed the need for more collaborations with relevant authorities to leverage on the fight towards the eradication of th disease, while calling on the State Government to take ownership of all activities in the various sectors to ensure effective synergy and coordination.
The Fhi360 Country Director was accompanied on the visit by the State Programme Manager, Dr. Frank Eyam and other staff of the organization.