Ondo wins immunisation leadership challenge

Bill Gates.... Photo Credit: billgatesstrategies.com

The challenge is geared towards eradicating polio from the country.

Ondo State emerged the winner of the 2012 Nigeria Governors Forum, NGF, immunisation leadership challenge instituted by the NGF and sponsored by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

A member of the panel of judges, Shehu Sule, announced this to newsmen after briefing members of the NGF at its meeting which ended in the early hours of Thursday in Abuja.

The challenge, which is supported by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency and the Ministry of Health, is geared towards eradicating polio from the county.

Mr. Sule, a retired Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, said six other states came in 2nd to 6th place. They are Cross River, Kogi, Anambra, Borno and Zamfara respectively.

He said that their emergence followed the evaluation of performance data by the panel of judges from the health sector.

He further said that the states were identified to have performed well in the ‘best performance’ category in each zone of the federation.

Mr. Sule added that the states were selected based on performance data for a series of polio and immunisation performance indicators.

These, according to him, include the quality of polio campaign, budget release for routine immunisation and adherence to the Abuja commitment signed by the governors in 2009.

Mr. Sule added that the states stood the chance of being rewarded with one million dollars each to boost immunisation against childhood killer diseases.

“Each of the states that won will be given $500,000 for the award and if they also provide $250,000 matching grant, it means they are going to give them additional $250,000.

“So in the end, they will have about $1 million to support MDGs programmes and immunisation,” Mr. Sule said.

Ondo State came first with 91 per cent, Cross River came second with 83 per cent, and Kogi came third with 81 per cent.

Anambra came fourth with 76 per cent, Borno was fifth with 72 per cent and Zamfara came sixth with 60 per cent.

Niger state was identified as the most improved state in the campaign for the eradication of polio in Nigeria.

Meanwhile, the Rivers State Governor and the NGF Chairman, Rotimi Amaechi, told newsmen at the end of the meeting that the forum had received the peer review reports of Anambra and Ekiti states.

“The main findings were presented by the steering committee, led by the chairperson, retired Justice Mohammed Uwais, during which many key findings and commendable practices were highlighted,” Mr. Amaechi said.

He added that the steering committee also outlined few areas that required improvement.

He said members of the forum, which comprised the 36 elected state governors of the federation, renewed their commitment to the state peer review mechanism process.

He added that the forum had directed its secretariat to make a detailed report of the winning states to the public.

The meeting which was the fourth held by the forum in 2013, was attended by Governors of Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Enugu, Anambra, Katsina and Kaduna states.

Others governors who attended the meeting included governors of Gombe, Taraba, Adamawa, Bauchi, Kogi, Ondo and Cross River.

Governors of Niger, Delta and Edo states were among those that did not attend the meeting.

The NGF is an umbrella association of the elected governors of the 36 states in Nigeria.

(NAN)


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