The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is set to partner with the Cross River State Health Insurance Agency (CRSHIA) to fight malaria.
In a meeting with CRSHIA in Calabar, the USAID’s Malaria Management Specialist in Nigeria, Dr Veronica Momoh said they wanted to know the readiness of the scheme for a possible collaboration to end malaria in the state. Momoh said through the contribution of the United States President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), they had been able to support Nigeria’s national malaria elimination programme to ensure a malaria-free Nigeria.
She said PMI’s goal was to reduce severe malaria and its attendant complications and also to 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 of CRSHIA, Mr Godwin Iyala, told the team that the state health insurance scheme had a robust package that covered malaria in its entirety because of its prevalence in tropical Africa.
Iyala said 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 health care services that will eliminate catastrophic consequences and out-of-pocket expenditures for health care.
“We have tried to ensure that the 196 primary health care 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, 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.