Gov Ayade's wife partners with the UN to reduce Mother to child Transmission


The United Nations (UN) has indicated interest to partner Gov Ayade’s wife to end HIV mother-to-child transmission In its renewed effort to totally eradicate the Human Immune Virus (HIV), particularly mother-to-child transmission (MTCT), Country Director of United Nations, Mr. Bilali Camara has set 2020 deadline to end the transmission of the virus in Cross River and Nigeria at large.
Camara who dropped the hint yesterday during a dinner in honour of United Nations’ (UN) Agencies after their 3-day retreat hosted by the wife of Governor Ben Ayade, Linda in Calabar, said the partnership with the governor’s wife’s NGO, Mediatrix Development Foundation, has given them the opportunity to re-strategize to put an end  to HIV-related deaths in the State.
In his words: “We have discussed and agreed as well as given ourselves a homework, which is essential, that by the end of 2020, no child will be born with HIV in Cross River State and no mother will be dying of AIDS  in this state, even in Nigeria.”‎
Continuing, the UN envoy maintained that “We want the Governor to lead us in this direction to ensure that Cross River becomes the first state in Nigeria to eliminate mother to child transmission of HIV. Under the leadership of UNICEF, all of us will be working with you to make sure that this vision, this objective, will certainly become a reality.”  
He further stated that: “we will certainly go back and start working to see how better we can help our brothers and sisters in the North-East because we cannot forget them despite the fact that we are  working presently in the South-East and also sending lifesaving drugs to Borno, Yobe, and  Adamawa  which are also burning with HIV.”
While thanking the State for being a good host to the UN systems in Nigeria, which was what informed their choice of Calabar for the retreat, he stated that,” what convinced me is when l spoke to my colleague about this event,   he said, let’s come to Cross River, and when I asked why?  He said it’s a state where human and nature are living in harmony.”
Camara also promised to collaborate with Mediatrix in the actualization of other UNAID programmes in the State including achieving its Sustainable Development programme, noting that it could only succeed with the support of the state.
Responding, Cross River State Governor, Prof. Ben Ayade who was represented by his Deputy, Prof. Ivara Esu, lauded the UN systems in Nigeria for their pragmatic approach in the eradication of HIV/AIDS in the state.
While commending the effort of the wife of the Governor, Dr Lynda Ayade for setting up the NGO aimed at protecting orphans and vulnerable children including child right issues, the deputy Governor restated the commitment of the State Government in ensuring that healthcare delivery becomes a right of all Cross Riverians by introducing a more robust social safety net that will give the poor access to qualitative healthcare services.
Earlier, Chairman, Board of Trustees, Mediatrix Development Foundation, Dr. Manz Denga, disclosed that the body was collaborating with the Global Agencies in order to bring succor to the vulnerable in the state with the view to giving them a sense of belonging.
He said the template the NGO will be working on was scrutinized by relevant UN agencies, even as he raised the hope that it would work in tandem with the agency to better the lots of Cross Riverians.
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