Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State has pledged his continued support on routine immunization to reduce maternal, child morbidity and mortality in the state.
The governor made the pledge on Tuesday, at the closing of the 2019 End-of-Year review meeting on the tripartite Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, in partnership with Bill and Melinda Gates and Dangote Foundations.
The governor commended the support of all partners working with the State Primary Healthcare Management Board and the State Ministry of Health towards a successful implementation of the routine immunization programme for the attainment of broader goals in the healthcare sector.
“We have made a 100 percent in nursing students’ allowances, recruited 37 midwives who graduated from the Dr Shehu Sule of Nursing and Midwifery, engaged the services of 207 nurses at our Health Management Board and our State University Teaching Hospital, and increased the admission quota for community midwives from 40 to 160.
“We are also building an additional 200-bed capacity hostel for students at the Dr Shehu Sule College of Nursing, and we have commenced additional courses of training at the College of Medical Sciences and the College of Health Sciences and technology, Nguru.
“Significant numbers of our women, children and new-borns have been reached with life-saving vaccines and commodities as provided in the MoU,” he said.
He, however, assured their partners that the drop from 14 percent to 11 percent for the budgetary allocation to the healthcare sector would be reversed in the next budget circle.
“This year, we had to re-focus on education, agriculture and infrastructure because we are determined to address the low literacy levels in many parts of the state and ensure food security.
“Because these are tight budgetary times, the measure had an effect on allocation to health. But we are determined to achieve the Abuja Declaration on allocation to healthcare going forward.
“We are also committed to a stellar budget performance for the healthcare sector by ensuring timely releases of budgeted funds.
“Consequently, the presentation made to my office for the release of counterpart funds for the programme would be approved today,” the governor stated.
Mr Buni further assured the state government’s commitment to continue to work with the two foundations and other development partners on the administration of the oral polio vaccine across the state.
“We will intensify effort for robust surveillance to ensure success in the Polio Certification effort of the country and good quality primary healthcare services in the State.
“We will also scale up our efforts toward achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and all health-related sustainable development goals.
“This is why we are monitoring what is happening in our local government areas closely.
“I have directed that all directors of personnel management who are currently heading the local government councils must attend and chair the Evening Review Meetings on Routine Immunization and I have asked the deputy governor, who is chairman of the taskforce on immunization and primary healthcare, to personally see to that.
“I have made clear that the council chairmen cannot be complacent about routine immunization,” he said.
Governor Buni, therefore, expressed his gratitude to the federal government, the ministry of health, and the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency for their support.
He added by thanking the Bill and Melinda Gates and Dangote Foundations for their robust and commendable partnership.