A community health clinic completed with the assistance of the United States government was on Friday commissioned in a rural suburb of Abuja.
The clinic was initiated by the Jikoko community in Bwari Area Council of the Federal Capital, but the project stalled until the U.S. government offered $10,000 for its completion.
Speaking at a ceremony to commission the clinic and flag off the Bwari Area Council Immunization campaign, the Charge ‘D’ Affairs, U.S. mission in Nigeria, David Young, said his government has been contributing about $7.35million yearly to the polio programmes in some states in Nigeria through the United States Agency for International Development, USAID.
He said the Nigerian polio programme also received an additional $7 million from USAID at the national level in 2016.
Mr. Young noted that Nigeria is the only country in Africa still on the endemic list for polio, therefore the need for more health clinics to fight the disease and help reduce maternal and child mortality.
He said the Jikoko health clinic was completed with grant assistance from the U.S. Ambassador’s Small Grants Program for Children Orphaned by AIDS and other Vulnerable Children.
“I am confident that this clinic will contribute towards the goal to kick out polio by providing immunization services, including polio vaccines, even as the clinic contributes to reducing morbidity and mortality among children,” he said
Nigeria’s hope for polio-free certification had suffered a major setback in August 2016 when four new cases of wild polio virus were discovered in three local government areas of Borno State liberated from Boko Haram insurgents.
In his remarks, the executive chairman of Bwari Area Council, Musa Dikko, commended the U.S. government for its contributions to the development of the area.
He, however, solicited more collaboration and assistance in the areas of education, tourism and exchange programmes that would benefit the youth of the council.
Mr. Dikko pledged that the council would sustain the standard of the health centre by providing necessary equipment and manpower.