June 22, 2018 – The USAID-HFG Nigeria / Implementing Partners (USAID IPs) paid an advocacy visit to the Executive Governor of Rivers State, His Excellency Chief (Barr.) Nyesom Ezenwo Wike (CON). The objective of the visit by key representatives from USAID Implementing Partners (IPs) in Rivers State was to update the Governor on the activities of IPs in the state, present their investment plans and seek areas of future partnership and collaboration.
During his opening remarks, Dr. Gafar Alawode appreciated the Governor on his enormous investments in the health sector including the on-going renovation and upgrade of primary, secondary and zonal health facilities in the state, the renovation and equipping of Brathwaite Memorial Specialist Hospital (BMSH) (a tertiary facility), the building of Mother and Child Specialist Hospital (soon to be commissioned), and the provision of interest-free loans to private health facilities for their facility upgrades which is unique to Rivers State and should be emulated across the country.
His Excellency. the Governor, Chief (Barr.) Nyesom Ezenwo Wike in his response thanked the delegation of USAID IPs led by the COP USAID-HFG, Dr. Gafar Alawode for visiting the state and also appreciated the partners for all the health activities being undertaken for the benefit of Rivers citizens. He however mentioned that the figure of 120,000 estimated number of people living with HIV/AIDS in the state was “touching, very alarming and scary”. His Excellency lamented that no one has brought this issue to his attention. He further said that steps must be taken to drastically reduce the disease infection rate before it “spreads like wide fire”. Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike (CON) thanked USAID team for all their support to the state and hoped that the support will continue.
HFG Nigeria project CoP, Dr. Gafar Alawode led the USAID IPs with Dr. Frances Ilika Senior Health Finance Advisor HFG; Chioma Oleru State Program Coordinator; Dr. Anikara Atamunotoru Health Finance Specialist HFG; Charles Odima State Program Advisor, FHI360/Global Fund; Fubara Adieboaye State Program Coordinator, Association for Reproductive & Family Health Local Partners for OVC in Nigeria (ARHF LOPIN 1) and Dr. Joseph Eze Capacity Advisor, Heartland Alliance.