The Dangote Foundation, in partnership with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is set to invest $42m in primary health care programmes to ensure a polio-free Nigeria by 2018. Although the World Health Organisation delisted Nigeria from the list of polio-endemic countries, the country is not free of the virus.
Speaking at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Kaduna State Government, the President, Dangote Foundation, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, said the donor foundations would provide technical and financial support to strengthen routine immunisation programmes in Sokoto, Yobe, Borno, Bauchi, Kano and Kaduna states. According to Dangote, the MoU is to ensure that all primary health centres in the states have the necessary infrastructsure to store and give vaccines to children. He said, “Bill Gates’ commitment to eradicating polio in Nigeria is clear. He has told me that immunisation is life-saving, cost-effective and a cornerstone of every primary health care system. “What we need is the leadership of the Federal Government and the commitment of the state governors.
It is critical to the success of this MoU. For me, bringing health care to the community is something I care about deeply, so it is important that communities trust that health services are there for them.”