In line with the avowed commitment of Governor Udom Emmanuel in keeping tab with the Donor Agencies executing projects and programs in Akwa Ibom State, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Multi-lateral and Donor Agencies – Mr. Ndiana-Abasi Nana Udom on Monday, February 10, 2020, embarked on an inspection tour around certain programs of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to ascertain the viability of their projects even as He reviewed the year 2020 work plan between the Akwa Ibom State Government and the international Donor partners.

At the Ministry of Health, the Akwa Ibom State Director of Fhi 360- Dr Kunle Kakanku led the Governor’s Aide and his entourage to the situation room of Data for implementation (Data. FI), a five-year project funded by the United States President’s Emergency plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through the USAID and implemented by Palladium.

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Akwa Ibom State is at the center of epidemic control efforts, with USAID/PEPFAR Nigeria implementing a surge strategy to fast track epidemic control in the state. To realize this strategy, integration of data, strengthening data quality, speeding up availability and use of strategic information must be used for decision making to save more lives.

Data.FI is leading the data strategy; working in tandem with Akwa Ibom State Government and other PEPFAR implementing partners to ensure greater impact of the surge strategy investments by improving in-depth analyses of HIV program data.

They conduct a weekly analysis of High Frequency Reporting (HFR) data to produce user-friendly and easily usable visualizations to support programs implemented in the state to measure their performance against set targets and indicators, identify program gaps, propose target interventions, and monitor implementation of action items. They also present Analyses and visualizations weekly and in the situation room performance review sessions; bringing together the State Ministry of Health (SMoH), Department of Multilateral & Donor Agencies, State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, USAID implementing partners, and UN agencies.

In a brief Meeting with the Honorable Commissioner of Health – Dr. Dominic Ukpong, Ndiana-Abasi Nana Udom while commending the USAID for her organized way of information collation, observed with Conviction that the Akwa Ibom State Situation room performance review Sessions which review meetings from minutes book he inspected, is the first of its kind in Nigeria. The meeting which led to specific decisions and action points from discussions in the analyses presented, was also an opportunity for the Governor’s Aide to brief the commissioner on the activities of his Department.

Prominent in attendance were, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health, Dr Patrick Essiet; State HIV/AIDS Coordinator, Dr Ime Usanga; Legal Consultant of the Department of Donor Agencies, Barr Blessing Udofa; Senior Program Officer of Fhi 360, Helen M. Nwaba; Strategic Behavioral Change Communications (SBCC) Advisor of Fhi 360, Edidiong Sambo and the Strategic Information Advisor of USAID, Miss Tyra Fom.

The SSA also visited the high-tech Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) laboratory built by USAID in partnership with the State Government. The laboratory is being equipped to serve as one of the mega laboratories in the Country to support patient management through viral load and early infant diagnosis of HIV. Other services provided by this mega laboratory include biometrics systems to support smooth implementation and clients’ enrolment and ensuring that clients are not double counted and consumables to supported facilities, Solar computers, solar refrigerators, solar microscopes, filing cabinets, furniture have also been provided to support implementation. From findings, the machines in the PCR Laboratory goes for nothing less than $250,000 each and it is to majorly serve Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Abia, Enugu, amongst other states in Nigeria

In a similar development, Mr Udom received the General manager and senior officials of the Akwa Ibom Rural Water and Sanitation Agency (AK-RUWATSAN) in his office. AK-RUWATSAN is the implementing agency on Water, Sanitation and Hygeine (WASH) and the Niger Delta Support Program (NDSP) sponsored by the European Union (EU)/United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF)and Akwa Ibom State Government.

The workplan and year 2020 activities of the Agency in line with expectations and budget from the donor agencies were discussed as they are expected to specialize on solar motorized boreholes and other major projects (Water and Sanitation) in different communities in Akwa Ibom State.

Credit: Endurance Johnson