By Muhammad Bashir
Aliko Dangote Foundation, in collaboration with Kano State Government, United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have signed a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding on routine immunization, RI, in the state.
Solacebase reports that the MoU was first signed in 2012, when Aliko Dangote Foundation, Kano State Government and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation decided to work towards improvement of health of women and children in Kano, second most populous state in the country.
Appraising the success of the first MoU, the three parties also signed second addendum in 2017 in a bid to improve on the goal earlier achieved.
However, the third Health MoU signing, this time around, witnessed the involvement of UNICEF as the fourth participating party in the agreement.
Speaking shortly before the official signing of the MoU on Wednesday, at the Kano State government house, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Aliko Dangote Foundation, Zouera Yousefou, congratulated the Kano state government for achieving the objectives of the addendum ll.
Mrs Yousefou commended the state government for its efforts in sustaining funding for all RI activities, thereby increasing the state’s RI budget by 22 percent over the past 6 years, despite challenges to the fiscal space.
The MD/CEO also noted with the signing of the third addendum, it is important to note that while the parties have made a lot of progress together, they remain far from achieving the target maternal and child health outcomes.
“We need to ensure that we use the lessons leanrt over the years to develop and effectively execute better-suited strategies that ensure we fast-track progress and ultimately achieve the Health MoU addendum lll’s targets.
“One such area of improvement is the need to devolve the programme’s oversight to lower levels and ensure LGA health teams are responsible for driving implementation across the wards in their LGA.
“We need to ensure that our health teams at LGA and Ward levels have the autonomy and resources they need to deliver within their specific contexts while holding them accountable for the results,” she said
Mrs Yousefou also urged traditional rulers to remain steadfast in their efforts to ensure the people take demand and utilize essential health services, including immunization, nutrition and maternal and reproductive health services.
The MD/CEO applauded the the efforts of the Kano State government and encourage the administration to continue to improve it’s performance by ensuring timely release of funds for both RI and PHC activities.
She restates the commitment of the Aliko Dangote Foundation in supporting Kano in its of ensuring all residents live long and healthy life.
In his remarks, the Governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, said the state had achieved significant milestone in healthcare services to the citizenry.
According to him, his administration had not rest on its oars on repositioning the health sector in the state, though improvement of primary and secondary health facilities, as well as provision of qualified personnel to manage them.
Ganduje noted that signing of the health MoU addendum lll is the testimony to the commitment of the state towards improvement of healthcare services.
He assured of the state’s promptness in donating counter funds in a bid to achieve the success of the program.
Speaking earlier, the Country Director, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Jeremie Zoungrana expressed delight to witness the signing of the MoU.
He said the event was the perfect opportunity to implement new and advanced programs in the area of RI, noting that Kano state had the potential to do better on that regard.
“With its commitment, technical, capacity and resources at its disposal, i believe Kano State has the potential to do better
“We will be committed to make sure that this addendum lll will help in addressing the key issues raised during the review meeting.
“We will contribute our own quota in the improvement of health care in Kano State,” he said.
Mr Zoungrana urged the Kano State government to ensure timely release of resources for the success of the program.
It was learned that each party would be contributing the sum of N185 million annually for the five years duration of the program.