Kano State Government, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Dangote Foundation, on Wednesday signed the Kano Health Basket Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, to boost health care interventions in the state.
The Health Basket is a funding mechanism initiated as part of the state government’s decision to revitalize its health sector.
The basket is funded by the two foundations and the state government that pool resources to support the implementation of programmes aimed at strengthening child health and other health interventions from 2017 – 2021.
The two foundations were encouraged to enter into the new MoU with Kano state government based on the success recorded in the tripartite agreement between them on strengthening routine immunisation, which was carried out between 2012 and 2016.
Speaking during the ceremony held through a video conference at Africa House, Government House, Kano, the state governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, said his administration “would release N350 million into the basket, as part of efforts to address maternal mortality and child related health challenges in the state”.
He said his administration had recently completed two abandoned hospitals and supplied them with modern equipment as part of moves to bring health care services closer to the citizenry.
He thanked Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Dangote Foundation as was well as the World Health Organisation, WHO, and other donor agencies for their sustained support.
In his comments, the Co-chair, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Bill Gates, who spoke from Seattle, Washington, urged the state government to focus on accountability in managing the funds released for the programme, reiterating the need for media review reports, which he said would guide all the parties towards achieving the desired success.
Mr. Gates assured that his foundation was determined to eradicate polio and other related diseases in Nigeria, Africa and the world in general through partnership with governments.
On his part, Aliko Dangote thanked the Gates Foundation for its commitment to polio eradication and commended the efforts of traditional rulers and other relevant bodies in fighting the scourge.
In his contribution, Kano state Commissioner for Health, Kabiru Getso, highlighted that for 2017, the two foundations would contribute 40 per cent each to the programme, while the state government would contribute 20 per cent.
He said the state government would gradually increase its contribution, to enable it take full ownership of the programme in the future.
The video conference also featured presentation of the 2016 end-year report for Routine Immunization system strengthening for Yobe state, with contributions from the state governor, Ibrahim Geidam, and the state Commissioner for Health, Muhammad Kukawa.