Bill Gates, co-chair, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, has admonished the Nigerian Government to intensify the immunizations of its children, even as the World Health Organization has certified Nigeria as Polio – free.
Gates, particularly advised that the Kano State Government to reinforce its Routine Immunization efforts, and strengthen the active participation of traditional leaders in awareness creation so that the successes recorded in the previous anti-polio campaigns could be maintained.
He made the call on Thursday evening, during Virtual Kano State Health System Strengthening Program Meeting hosted by the Kano state government held in Africa House Section of the Government House, in which the state governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, Aliko Dangote, Chair, Dangote Foundation, and, the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, other key public health officials participated.
“Our Polio work is not done, we still have the vaccine for Wild Polio and we need to maintain immunization in case Polio escapes from the two countries in Asia where it still exists.
“I am pleased to hear that the Kano State Task Force on immunization also includes Primary Health Care as its focus”, he stated.
Gates further advised that the State Primary Health Care Program coverage areas in the state should be strengthened as part of an effort to ensure community well-being.
He recalled with delight that since 2012, Kano state had not defaulted in contributing to the health basket fund, hoping the trend would be sustained for the success of the partnership.
In his remarks, the Chairman, Dangote Foundation, Aliko Dangote explained that he was happy with the way the Ganduje administration handled the pandemic of Covid 19.
“Kano has shown the world what it can do to respond to emergencies. The same way you and your team kept your energy going with Polio, I urge you to keep it going with your Covid 19 response”, he remarked.
He assured that his foundation would continue to support the state government towards making its immunization and Primary Health Care systems more resilient.
On his part, Gov. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje said strengthening the healthcare the delivery system in the state remained a priority of his administration.
“Kano State will also strive to scale up the strengthening of 2 – way referral linkages between primary and secondary health care facilities”, the governor promised.