By Ike Uchechukwu
HIV/AIDS: The Speaker of the Cross River House of Assembly, Hon. Eteng Williams has said the state would implement the World Health Organisation’s budgetary requirements to improve the healthcare delivery services.
Speaking at a one day stakeholders meeting on the Global Fund’s Institutional Capacity Strengthening held in Calabar, Eteng said the state would adhere to the Medium Term Expenditure Framework to enable the state join Lagos in accessing the Global Fund and improve healthcare delivery in the state particularly for people living with HIV/AIDS.
The stakeholders meeting was organized by development partners including the FHI360, the Excellence Community Education Welfare Scheme (ECEWS) and the Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria (NEPWHAN).
He said: “We are determined to improve upon the budgetary allocation to the health sector in the state and that is why we are putting pressure on the executive.
“HIV/AIDS is something we cannot fold our hands and watch our citizens die. You have given us a template for next year’s budget. We are encouraging a formula that reflects the Medium Term Framework.
“For any state to grow, you have to set up a development formula and stick by it. We are going to stick to the WHO’s benchmark or do something close to what the requirement is. If the federal government does up to 10%, then we as a state should not go lower and we hope to achieve this through appropriation”, he stated.
Speaking earlier, the representative of FHI360, Kazeem Balogun, said the Medium Term Framework is a key requirement for accessing the Global Fund and with this; several benefits will accrue to the state.
He listed some of the key benefits to including owning their own civic response and determining what the state’s priorities are, further strengthening the healthcare system of the state as well as positioning the state to access resources from other donor agencies across the world.