Dwindling income, occasioned by fall in global price of oil will not affect the Kano state government’s commitment towards the eradication of polio meningitis, the state governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, has assured. “We revitalized our internal revenue agency to avoid over dependence on federal allocation and ultimately to ensure sustainability of our polio eradication efforts,” the governor has said on Wednesday in Kano, which is the most populous state in Nigeria.
Speaking during the 2016 mid-year review of routine immunization in the state, in a video conference with the duo of the presidents of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Dangote Foundation, Bill Gates and Aliko Dangote, respectively, Ganduje pledged his continued support to the program in Kano state. To ensure data collection and other aspect of the anti-polio campaign were not compromised; the governor assured that he would be personally involved in ensuring accurate data collection in subsequent rounds of immunization exercises in the state. He reaffirmed his administration’s resolve to ensure total eradication of polio in Nigeria through prompt release of funds and efficient tracking of routine immunization exercises.
Ganduje, equally lauded the commitment of the Kano State Emirate Council towards eradicating polio and commended development partners for their untiring support to rid Nigeria of Polio. During the video conference, Aliko Dangote, promised that his organization would release its counterpart funds for this year’s (2016) MOU, to facilitate smooth execution of the programme.
Bill Gates, who spoke from his office in the US, described the provision of about 484 cold chain facilities in Kano as a big step in the vision to make Nigeria polio free. He however expressed concern over recent reports of outbreak of measles in the state, urging the government to take firm steps to check the trend. He assured that Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation would maintain its contribution to the tripartite agreement on polio eradication. The three year memorandum of understanding was signed in 2012 between the three partners Kano State government, Bill & Melinda gates foundation as well as Dangote Foundation in an effort to curb Polio virus in Nigeria.
The MOU is expected to end this year and the Kano state government will take full ownership of the programme by contributing 100% to the basket fund to ensure sustainability. Kano is the only Nigerian state that got one year extension due to the huge successes recorded by the programme in the state.
It will be recalled that in September 2015, the World Health Organization, WHO, had announced that polio was no longer endemic in Nigeria which was the first time Nigeria had interrupted transmission of the wild poliovirus.
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