7 February 2018

Nigeria: Kano Partners Dangote, Gates to Fight Polio

Photo: The Guardian
Polio.

Kano State government has released the sum of N344, 671, 368 million as counterpart funding in fulfilment of the tripartite agreement with Dangote Foundation and, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for the 2018 routine immunisation against poliomyelitis.

Briefing Reporters yesterday on the outcome of the weekly executive meeting, the commissioner for Information, Malam Muhammad Garba, disclosed that Kano State governor, Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, remain committed to ensure that children under the age of five are fully immunised against polio.

According to him, "For the past three years, Kano has not recorded any outbreak of polio, and we want to continue to sustain this record. The state government is investing hugely on health. You are aware that the health sector is allocated over 13 per cent of the 2018 budget.

"Just recently, during a video teleconference for the 2017 health goals and objectives with Dangote Foundation and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the two partners commended the state government for the success recorded so far in the fight against diseases like polio, tuberculosis, eradication of HIV/AIDS, malaria, measles and other child killer diseases."

Garba also said that the Council approved the release of over N22 million to procure two million assorted seedlings to checkmate desertification.

He said the Council also approved the sum of N417, 310, 519 to the Ministry of Works for the constructions of roads and drainages in Ganduje Township in Dawakin Tofa local government area, adding that the sum of over N32 million was approved to the same ministry for the construction of low cost housing estates in Ganduje town.

According to him, the sum of N126, 710, 400 million was approved to the office of Secretary to the State Government (SSG) to offset the 2016/2017/2018 tuition fees and allowances of students of Kano State origin on scholarship at Mansoura University in Egypt.

"I must emphasise that Governor Ganduje is passionate on the welfare of our students studying abroad. This is why he has never relented in ensuring that they have all the resources they need to concentrate on their studies.

"I was in Sudan two weeks ago with the executive secretary of the State Scholarship Board to pay the 2018 tuition fees and allowances of our students studying in that country. By the grace of God, I will soon be in Egypt to conclude the payment of our students there," he stated.

Ganduje, pledged that his administration is committed towards investing billions of naira to boost health care services in the state

According to him, donor agencies and development partners are also working with his administration, to better the health sector.

He disclosed that, the World Health Organization (WHO) will partner with Kano State government to facilitate the delivery of quality primary and secondary health care in Kano, he confirmed that, WHO will disburse N1.5 billion to fund various immunization exercises in 2018.

It will be recalled that, the state commissioner for Health, Dr Ibrahim Getso, during the review of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between, Kano State government, Dangote Foundation and Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation, said, the state government in 2018 will embark on the campaign against malaria and enhance the provision of anti natal health care services.

He further disclosed that, in 2017 the state government succeeded in eradicating measles, adding that, polio immunization exercises conducted in 2017 were hitch free.

Getso lamented that, though polio immunization could be described as successful, polio vaccination exercise is still been militated against by disbelief and negligence.

The WHO representative to Nigeria, Dr Wondimagegnehu Alemu, who witnessed the review said the relationship between WHO and Kano State government is "extraordinary".

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