El-Rufai, DFID, Bill Gates, BMGF sign MOU on Kaduna primary health care
Kaduna State Government is partnering the United Kingdom’s (UK) Department for International Development (DFID), and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) on health and governance, taking an important step towards stronger primary health care services in rural communities.
Recalled that BMGF had earlier donated 60 units of tricycle ambulance to ease transportation of pregnant women and other emergency in Kaduna communities where there are poor road network. This development has saved several pregnant women from complications associated with childbirth.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) would further improve the implementation and transformation of the primary health care system in Kaduna State, and builds upon ongoing support by BMGF and DFID for polio eradication, routine immunization, family planning, and maternal and
child health services.
Speaking during the signing of innovative four-year agreement focused on sustainable primary health care systems strengthening MOU at Government House, Kaduna, United Kingdom Minister on International Development,James Wharton,said the United Kingdom is committed to helping Nigeria to address the causes of and eliminate poverty, ensuring no Nigerian is left behind.
Ayo Ajayi, Africa Director of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation said gaps in primary health care service delivery are a serious challenge for Nigeria, as demonstrated in the recent polio transmissions in
rural areas of northern Nigeria.
On his part, Kaduna state Governor,Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, while commending Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and UK Department for
International Development (DFID) ) for their support,said the MOU will
strengthen and transform the primary health care system in the state:
“Health is one of the priority sectors for this government, and primary health care is critical to achieving our goal to deliver for Kaduna State citizens better health and ensure longer life expectancy.”
El-Rufai added: “Our programs are structured to ensure that a pregnant woman does not die due to her inability to access quality services during pregnancy and childbirth, that a child is not lost from preventable diseases, that communities are not overburdened with
endemic diseases, and that community linkages are harnessed and promoted”he said.
Despite significant health investments, Nigeria continues to face high infant, child and maternal mortality rates.
Statistics from a 2013 Demographic and Health Survey highlight that only 32% of women iNigeria give birth in a primary health care facility, only 44% of children in the country are fully immunized, and almost 60% are underweight.