Kano state governor, Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso has assured that despite challenges, the state government will not relent in efforts to eradicate Polio and improve the wellbeing of children.
During a video conference to review routine immunization and polio programme milestones in 2013, between Kano state government officials, the Co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Mr. Bill Gates and, the President of Dangote Foundation, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, in Kano, Governor Kwankwaso directed that monthly reports on Polio immunization must be submitted to his office to ensure that efficiency in the anti Polio campaign.
To this extent, he reiterated that any official found wanting or sabotaging the immunization efforts will be sanctioned, as the government is totally committed to halting transmission of the Wild Polio Virus.
Governor Kwankwaso also assured that the government will ensure timely release of counterpart funds for Polio immunization in January and July 2014, as agreed by parties involved in the tripartite collaboration to strengthen immunization in the state.
He however reminded the Co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on possible intervention in the sectors agriculture and education, in view of their connection with the prevalence of Polio. The governor thanked Mr. Gates and Alhaji Dangote for their commitment and support towards making life better for people of Kano state.
In his speech, the state Commissioner of Health, Dr. Abubakar Labaran explained that despite logistical and personnel challenges, the state has recorded progress in tacking polio as only 14 cases were this year as against 22 in 2012. He assured that more premium will be placed on immunization particularly in areas were cases of apathy to the exercise persist.
The Co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Bill Gates who said he is happy with present efforts to wipe out Polio in Kano, however stressed the need for focus on community engagement towards achieving the desired level of success in immunization activities.
On his part, Alhaji Aliko Dangote praised the state governor for his commitment so far and called for more accountability in all routine immunization initiatives to guarantee success of the exercise.
In their separate remarks, the representative of the Minster of Health, Prof. Abdussalam Nasidi and the Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Ado Muhammad promised that the Federal government will continue to provide support to all state governments towards attaining at least 80 percent vaccine coverage in each state.