The Community Health and Research Initiative (CHR), a Nigerian NGO committed to research, budget advocacy and accountability in maternal newborn and child health, has commended the duo of Mr. Bill Gates and Alhaji Aliko Dangote for supporting and signing the extension of their Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the governments of 6 northern states on sustainable funding for Routine Immunization (RI) and child health in Nigeria.
It would be recalled that Mr Gates, Alhaji Dangote and the governors of the 6 northern Nigerian states of Kano, Kaduna, Yobe, Borno, Sokoto and Bauchi were on Wednesday March 21, 2018, in Sokoto, Nigeria where they signed the renewal of their existing agreement on strengthening funding for RI aimed at ending vaccine-preventable child deaths in Nigeria.
“We wish to genuinely commend the duo of Mr Bill Gates and Alhaji Aliko Dangote for their unrelenting support to child health in northern Nigeria over many years, particularly their support for RI,” says a press statement signed by CHR’s Director, Salisu Musa Muhammad, which was made available to newsmen in Abuja. “Since 2013, the duo of Mr Gates and Alhaji Dangote has been actively supporting efforts targeted at achieving sustainable funding for RI and eradication of polio virus out of Nigeria.”
“We particularly wish to commend the personal commitment they have shown to improving child healthcare in Nigeria which could be seen in the fact that they always personally participate in the mid-and-end of year review meetings of the situation of child and primary healthcare in the states of their intervention, despite their obviously very busy schedules. We believe the commitment the duo have demonstrated improved immunization services in the country is but second to none,” the statement added.
Therefore, CHR called on the governors of the 6 respective states that have signed the MoU extension with the Gates Foundation and Dangote Foundation to remain committed of the MoU by ensuring timely payment and release of their counterpart funding adding that “doing so would be their way of encouraging the exceptionally magnanimous gestures of Mr Gates and Alhaji Dangote to the millions of children that would benefit from the RI interventions.”
“We are also calling on other similarly rich Nigerians particularly those from the northern region to emulate Alhaji Dangote by also committing their resources to the development child and primary healthcare in the northern region, which has the poorest child health indices in the country” urged the statement.
“We believe the likes of Alhaji Aminu Dantata, Alhaji Abdulmunaf Sarina (owner of Azman Air); Alhaji Abdulsamad Rabiu (owner of BUA Group) as well as Alhaji Auwalu Abdullahi (owner of AA Rano Group) are all well-placed to also contribute their quota to the quest to end child and maternal mortality in northern Nigeria. We are of the opinion that by also committing their resources to this initiative, they will not only be saving lives but also discharging their corporate social responsibility (CSR) to Nigerians,” the statement concluded.
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