The Cross River State Government has commended Marie Stopes International Organisation Nigeria (MSION) for its contributions and support in enabling improved access to sexual and reproductive health services for the people of the state.
The state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Betta Edu made the commendation during an advocacy visit by the Country Director of Marie Stopes Nigeria, Effiom Nyong Effiom and his team on Wednesday February 19, 2020 at the Ministry of Health complex, Calabar.
Dr Edu appreciated MSION for the venerable relationship and the organisation’s strong commitments in reaching the last mile regardless of distance or difficult terrain with family planning services.
She commended the MSION outreach strategy, noting that it ensures access to family planning services for women in difficult and hard to reach communities across the state, and helps to deliver universal access to sexual and reproductive health services while ensuring no one is left behind.
The Health Commissioner noted that there are many hard to reach areas deserving more interventions in the state; and that the MSION outreach strategy is a model the Cross River State Government would love to explore as funding becomes available to expand access and reach.
Speaking earlier, Effiom Nyong Effiom, Country Director, Marie Stopes International Organisation Nigeria who thanked the state government for its responsiveness and support to the organisation’s interventions in the state; explained that MSION is in the state to support and work collaboratively with the government to advance sexual and reproductive health outcomes for the people of Cross River.
Effiom noted that since entry into the state in 2014, MSION has contributed immensely in developing human resources for health especially in training providers on family planning, providing equipment and commodities to aid service provision and above all, ensuring that women are reached with services regardless of the difficulty of the terrains where they live.
He noted that MSION operates several channels of service provision and support to the state. These include the Public Sector Strengthening interventions which works through Primary Healthcare Centers to strengthen capacity for sexual and reproductive health, the Social Franchise which works through the private health sector to improve care and the Mobile Outreach which combs the state to ensure that access is not denied to women in underserved locations. He added that, through the outreach team alone, MSION reaches about 3000 women of reproductive age with services every month.
Cross River State Representatives at the meeting were Dr Mrs. Betta Edu Honourable Commissioner for Health, Barrister Takon Asu Takon Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health, Dr Iwara Iwara Director Public Health, Mrs. Lucy Enakhirerhi State Family Planning Coordinator and Mrs. Nsa Ita State Reproductive Health Coordinator. Representatives of Marie Stopes Nigeria were Mr. Effiom Nyong Effiom Country Director, Emmanuel Ajah Director Programme Operations, Ibekwe Samuel Regional Manager, South East (including Cross River and Akwa Ibom States), Mrs. Lucy Esege State Clinical and Training Officer.