By Asmau Ahmad
At an interactive video conference meeting on Wednesday 5th August 2015 that commenced 17:15 WAT the Executive Governor of Bauchi State Muhammad A Abubakar has assured local and international partners of his administration’s commitment towards improving Routine Immunization and health sector in general. Mr. Bill Gates the co-chair of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and his team joined the conference from Seattle, US while Ms. Julie Koenen, Acting Mission Director, USAID Nigeria and the Executive Director NPHCDA Dr Ado J G Mohammed joined from Abuja. Representative of Dangote Foundation Zuwaira Yousef joined from Washington DC.
Other distinguished dignitaries seated with the Bauchi State Governor at the Emergency Operation Center were HRH the Emir of Dass Alhaji Usman B. Othman Co-chair Bauchi State Task Force on Immunization, Deputy Governors of Kaduna and Bauchi States Hon. Bala Barnabas Bantex and Eng. Nuhu Gidado Sardaunan Jamaare respectively and representatives of international and local development partners supporting immunization in the state. The meeting was a mid-year review of the MOU implementation to strengthen Routine Immunization in Bauchi State which has recorded tremendous progress in coverage, quality of supervision and zero polio in the state for over 23 months.
In his remark the Governor of Bauchi State thanked Mr Gates, Alhaji Dangote, Julie Koenen of the Foundations & USAID and their entire teams for the tireless effort in supporting the state. Also he also thanked all local and International partners supporting Immunization in the State. The governor used the opportunity in the event to say that “I want to inform this august meeting that a month ago I have commissioned a study titled ‘Bauchi State Health Sector; a preliminary assessment of Situation, Challenges and Opportunities’ which provided a background for my administration to catalyze action in the Health Sector via the launch of my 5 Point Health Agenda tagged “Lafiya Garkuwa”
Under the agenda my administration will focus on
- Strengthening Primary Health Care and Routine Immunization across the whole state.
- Ensure access of mothers and children to Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Services including access to quality and cost effective live saving drugs
- Motivating frontline health workers for effective and quality service delivery
- Improving funding of health sector through innovative financing mechanisms, accountability and transparency
- Demand creation via health education, awareness creation and strategic communication
My team will soon commence consultation with primary and secondary stakeholders in the health sector in preparation for the launch of the “Lafiya Garkuwa”.
And also gladly mentioned that “with regard to the MOU to strengthen Routine Immunization my administration will continue to support its full implementation. Out of the One Hundred and Sixty Million Naira (N160, 000,000:00k) outstanding contribution of the State Government I have approved the payment of Eighty Million Naira (N80, 000,000:00k) into the Basket account (50% of the outstanding contribution) few days ago and the remaining amount will be paid in the next few weeks.”
Mr. Billl Gate and all the development partners that spoke during the conference had congratulated the governor of Bauchi for having an agenda that will galvanize action in health sector as well as his continuous support to improve routine immunization in the state. They also reiterated their readiness to continue the partnership as well as building a model that will be replicated in other states.