Wednesday, January 20, 2016 8:46 pm
The Presidents of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Bill Gates, the president of the Dangote Foundation, Alhaji Aliko Dangote on Tuesday in Kaduna signed a Memorandum of Understanding for Routine Immunizations, MoUs with northern states governors .
The partnership is aimed at eradicating polio and other child killer related diseases in the northern states.
In his brief remark before the signing ceremony at Sir Kashim Ibrahim House, Aliko Dangote urged the new governors to take ownership and heart of this immunization programme .
Dangote who urged Kaduna governor, Nasir El-Rufai and other governors to visit a health centre every month for supportive supervision, called federal government to continue to work closely with the states to provide routine and new vaccines and other health commodities.
According to Dangote, Bill Gate’s commitment to polio eradication was clear , but he also talked to me about how immunization is life saving, cost effective and is a cornerstone of every primary health care system.
“Leadership and guidance of federal government and the commitment of the governors are critical to success. For me, bringing health care to the community is something I care about deeply so it is very important that communities trust that health services are there for them.”
United States Ambassador, James Entwistle, in his speech said the signing of MoU demonstrates the willingness and commitment of Nigeria’s government and organization to tackle the challenges .
While noting that Melinda Gates Foundation’s contribution in the areas of health and agriculture have yielded concrete results in Nigeria , the US Ambassador said the United States government seeks opportunities to partner with Nigerians in tackling the challenges of development .
He however, disclosed that each US government will provide more than 600 million dollars to address serious health issues, such as child mortality, maternal and new born health.
The Host Governor, Nasir El-Rufai thanked his guest for visiting Kaduna and gave assurance that all agreements reached in the MoU would be implemented .
El-Rufai who pointed out that immunizing a child which should be simple and routine, has not been so across Nigeria, said the health system has not been invested with the capacity to consistently provide even routine services at a high standard.
According to him, it was the reason that the partnership was established to changing that.
“As State Governors, it is evident from the contributions of my colleagues that our key strategy is to ensure that a reliable supply of vaccines is delivered in the right quantities at the right time, with sustained potency to our health facilities. And if we can do that for vaccines, we can deploy same for every other health commodity our people need.
“It is essential that as State governments we earn the trust of the community by delivering predictable, reliable health services if we want our citizens to come to the health facilities. By getting immunization right, we can ensure that families access other critical treatments against malaria, diarrhea and other common ailments,” said El-rufai.
In Kaduna for signing of the MoU, are the governors of Kano, Abdullahi Ganduje; Borno, Kashim Shettima; Bauchi, Mohammed Abubakar; Sokoto,Aminu Tambuwal; and Yobe, Ibrahim Geidam.
Also at the event were Sultan of Sokoto, Emir of Kano and the Shehu of Borno