Chiemeka ADINDU, Calabar
The United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA, has completed an intervention project at the School of Basic Midwifery in Calabar, Cross River State .
The UN agency renovated and equipped the school’s demonstration laboratory with modern facilities as well as the school hall.
Commissioning the project, Cross River State Commissioner for health, Dr. Betta Edu lauded the UNFPA for their immense contributions in the state, especially in the health care sector. She affirmed that the state had really felt the presence of the UN body in commendable ways.
She said the project was carried out to build young students in this school and to ensure quality delivery of health care services in the state.
“We’re striving to achieve universal health coverage and if we must address the issue of fragility of the health system, if we must be able to achieve universal health coverage then we need to fix the health education system, the system where nurses, doctors and other health personnel are being trained.
“So we’re happy today that this school has been renovated. We’re happy that this school has received this intervention and so they can produce midwives that will go into our hospitals, our primary health care centers and offer quality health care services to our people at the grassroots level and at the state level.
“We appreciate the UNFPA for supporting the Cross Rivers State Government to be able to renovate Cross River state school of midwifery, Calabar and also equipping the laboratory and we hope that the next results will reflect on this work done to improve their learning.
“We were at the critical moment and sometimes God just hears the prayers in your heart and proffers solutions almost immediately. We had a rainstorm in Calabar some months back and it destroyed the school. This is not to say that the school did not have its challenges so it became a cause for concern to me. We want to assure others that this same hand of fellowship will go all the way across all our schools”, the commissioner stated.
She charged the students to distinguish themselves by focusing on their studies so as to have excellent results. She encouraged the teachers to invest in the students to help them come out successful in their field of study.
In his remarks, UNFPA Head of Cross River sub office, Dr. Omolaso Omosehin expressed delight that the project became a reality. He stressed that the UNFPA is very passionate about pregnant women, adding that their mission statement is that every pregnancy should be wanted, and that pregnancy should not be by chance but by choice.
He added that their mission statement also states that every pregnant woman should deliver safely and every young person’s potential should be fulfilled. He said they are therefore strongly committed to this and that those three areas of the mission statement define what they do. He used the medium to appreciate all those who assisted UNFPA to make the project a reality.
“For one, we support the government of Cross River state in many respects that concern reproductive health. Secondly, midwifery learning is key to what UNFPA does because we need skilled health workers for safe delivery, so we support the government to ensure that women deliver safely.
“And if students are not educated in a good environment, definitely, the education is not complete. So when they approached us and asked us to support them in this project, we gladly did so, believing that it will help to build the capacity of the nurses and midwives for a better engagement of the society in this regard. We spent quite a substantial amount and I’m so happy that they’ve been able to spend this money judiciously and I’m hopeful that the students will make god use of the facilities provided”, Dr. Omolaso averred.
Also speaking, the Director General of Cross River State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Janet Ekpenyong appreciated the UNFPA and the state government for the swift intervention and the extent of work done at the school, especially in the upgrade of the demonstration Laboratory.
She said “I want to say a very big thank you to UNFPA, I want to thank our dear honorable commissioner for health for always having that foresight and ever committed to see that we can transform the infrastructural development which contributes a whole lot to the entire health system. We’re very pleased with what we’re seeing on ground”.
She charged the students to up their game and focus on their study so that they can be absorbed after graduation as the government needs their services.