By Asmau Ahmad
The Aliko Dangote Foundation, Kano State Government, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the United Nations Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on improving Routine Immunisation in the state.
Speaking during the signing of the MoU in Kano, the Managing Director of Aliko Dangote Foundation, Zouera Yousefou, congratulated the Kano government for achieving the objectives of the addendum ll.
Yousefou commended the government’s effort in sustaining funding for all Routine Immunisation (RI) activities, and for increasing budgetary allocation by 22 per cent over the past six years.
The managing director said the parties involved would thrive to achieve the target on maternal and child health outcomes.
“We need to ensure that we use the lessons learnt from the previous years to effectively execute better-suited strategies to fast-track progress and ultimately achieve the Health MoU addendum lll targets.
“One of such is the need to devolve the programme’s oversight to lower levels and ensure LGA health teams are responsible for driving implementation across the wards in their respective areas.
“We need to ensure that our health teams at local government and Ward levels have the autonomy and resources they need to deliver within their specific contexts, while holding them accountable for the results,” she said
Yousefou also urged traditional rulers in the state to remain tireless at ensuring that people utilise essential health services, including immunisation, nutrition as well as the maternal and reproductive health services.
He encouraged the administration to continue to improve its performance by ensuring timely release of funds for both Routine Immunisation and Primary Healthcare activities.
She restated the commitment of the Aliko Dangote Foundation in supporting Kano State at ensuring that all residents live long and healthy life.
In his remarks, Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, said the state had achieved significant milestone on healthcare services to the citizenry.
He said his administration would continue to reposition the health sector through improvement of primary and secondary health facilities as well as provision of qualified personnel to manage them.
Ganduje noted that signing of the health MoU addendum lll is the testimony to the commitment of the administration towards improvement of healthcare services.
He assured the state’s promptness in contributing counterpart funds in a bid to achieve the success of the programme.
Also speaking, the Country Director, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Mr Jeremie Zoungrana, expressed delight to witnessing signing of the MoU.
He said the event was a perfect opportunity to implement new and advanced programmes in the area of immunisation, noting that Kano State had the potential to do more on that regard.
“With its commitment, technical, capacity and resources at its disposal, I believe Kano government has the potential to do better. We will be committed to make sure that this addendum lll help in addressing the key issues raised during the review meeting.
“We will contribute our own quota in the improvement of healthcare in Kano State,” he said.
Zoungrana urged the Kano government to ensure timely release of resources for the success of the programme.
The UNICEF representative, Mr Peter Hawkins, said that they came into the programme as technical partners.
He said the MoU offered another opportunity to build healthcare facilities in Nigeria, especially at the Primary Healthcare level.