Cross River State held its State Management Team (SMT) meeting to kick start activities for Global fund action grant . The SMT is part of National Coordination architecture established at the onset of the (President Comprehensive Response Plan) PCRP for HIV, to provide a high level coordination platform to drive the HIV response in the State. As part of efforts to strategically reposition the Country to achieve greater success in the Health, HIV response and leverage on other opportunities to expand health care services.
The Global Fund project is supporting Nigeria. Five (5) States in the Country including Cross River State have been selected to become sub recipients (SR) of the Global Fund (GF). A major activity resulting from this selection is the need to strengthen the Institutional Capacities of these States to effectively deliver on the GF grant, coordination at the highest level is crucial with the Deputy Governor Prof. Ivara Esu as chairman
The State Management Team (SMT ) which provides the lead in Coordination in the state has been restructured and constituted with the Deputy Governors as the Chair and the Commissioner for Health as Deputy to ensure the provision of highest level policy direction and technical guidance.
The SMT has its members drawn from a spectrum of critical Stakeholders in the HIV response from the following domains
• Deputy Governor
• Technical Working Groups
• Development Partners/Implementing Partners
• Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS
In her speech, the Commissioner for Health Dr Betta Edu said “As we gather here today, our common goal remains to halt and reverse the spread of HIV, bringing the prevalence rate down from 2% which is higher than the national average of 1.4% and in so doing contribute to the attainment of the SDGs and the State developmental goals which includes the Governors vision and agenda. The State Management Team which is expected to provide a strong policy support and direction for effective coordination of health sector HIV response. The broad role and responsibilities of the SMT will therefore be to;
Improved Coordination & Systems Strengthening of the National response;
Improved financial resourcing and state ownership
Enhanced Coordination of the State level response;
Addressing Human Resource Challenges Of The State Response amongst others.
The House Committee Chairman on Health Hon Ekpo Ekpo Bassey Commended the state for this great progress and pledge the support of the Legislative arm to ensure local resource mobilization for Health care as well as legislative solutions to End HIV in state. Others who made Presentations were DG SACA Dr Etcheri Ansa, DG Primary Health Dr Ekpeyong, PS SMOH Bar Takon Asu Takon, PMTCT state Committee Chairman Dr Odusola and Dr Emmanuel Adams. FHI 360, Jepigo, UNFPA, Heartland alliance amongs others .