In Nigeria’s quest to be certified polio-free, six Northern State governors have strengthened routine immunisation and polio eradication efforts.
Also, the chairman, Aliko Dangote Foundation, Aliko Dangote called for improved data quality in the process.
He made the call during an end-of-the-year annual review meeting through video conference between the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Aliko Dangote Foundation and the governments of six Northern States of Bauchi, Borno, Kaduna, Kano, Sokoto and Yobe.
The six governors had signed a five-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to strengthen routine immunisation (RI) and polio eradication. The MoU was extended recently from 2018 to 2022; to include revitalisation of primary healthcare in the respective states.
The video conferences took place between the Co-chair, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Mr. Bill Gates, Aliko Dangote, represented by the managing director of ADF, Zouera Youssoufou; the State Governors; the Minister of Health; among others.
During the bi-annual review, which spanned two days, the progress made by each of the six states in terms of RI and polio eradication was analysed and suggestions on improvement made. Yobe State, in particular, was singled out for praise for making the most remarkable improvement in its RI efforts since the MoU was signed.
Dangote, who acknowledged the efforts of the state governments to eradicate polio among their populations, called for greater involvement of the traditional leaders in the RI process, and also advocated improved data quality from the governments and all relevant stakeholders. He also sought timely release of counterpart funds from the partner state governments to sustain the process, while the Aliko Dangote Foundation will release its obligation once the States have deposited their own funds.