The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is set to collaborate with the Cross River Health Insurance Agency (CRSHIA) in the fight against malaria.
In a meeting with CRSHIA in Calabar, Dr Veronica Momoh, USAID’s Malaria Management Specialist in Nigeria, said they wanted to know the readiness of the scheme for a possible collaboration to end malaria in the state.
Momoh said that through the contribution of the United States’ President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), they had been able to support Nigeria’s National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP) to ensure a malaria-free Nigeria.
She said that PMI’s goal was to reduce severe Malaria and its attendant complications and also reduce complications associated with malaria.
“PMI aims to reduce all causes of under-five and maternal mortality by delivering quality services for the management of malaria and its complications.
“It also aims to prevent malaria during pregnancy which puts the life of mother and child at risk by providing drugs, insecticide treated nets and other commodities,” she said.
The Director-General (D-G) of CRSHIA, Mr Godwin Iyala, in his response told the team that the state health insurance scheme had a robust package that covered malaria in entirety because of its prevalence in tropical Africa.
Iyala said that the scheme’s 100 per cent malaria coverage was its own contribution and effort at ensuring that malaria was eliminated.
“In line with best practices, we plan to deliver quality, affordable and accessible healthcare services that will eliminate catastrophic consequences and out-of-pocket expenditures for healthcare.
“We have tried to ensure that the 196 primary healthcare facilities across the state’s 18 local government areas and all the general hospitals are accessible for primary or secondary care as the case may be.
“Also just recently, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed with the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH) for tertiary referrals when the need arises,” he said.
He thanked USAID for the partnership, adding that their names would remain in the history books for assisting to enthrone universal health coverage in Cross River.
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