By Umar Faruk, Birnin Kebbi
In its commitment to eradicates polio cases in Nigeria, UNICEF has dedicated an edifice tagged: “Polio Emergency Operation Centre” in addition to Three HILUX vehicles to Kebbi State Primary Health Care Development Agency (KBSPHCDA), while one vehicle out of four was allocated to polio Emergency Operations Centre newly constructed and also commissioned by Kebbi state Governor, making the total of four HILUX Vehicles donated to state.
The centre is fully furnished with all necessary facilities that would ease communication and pave way for eradication of poliomyelitis out of the state.
Commissioning the facility in Birnin Kebbi, Gov. Nasir Idris applauded UNICEF for the gesture and promised to ensure its proper utilisation.
The governor, who was represented by the Head of Service, Alhaji Safiyanu Garba-Bena observed that the essence of the whole gesture was to assist Kebbi in fighting and eradicating polio, “because it seems the virus is resurfacing, hence the need for collective action against it.
“In fact, what I saw in the facility baffles me, the facilities put in place are actually fantastic. We are giving our development partners the assurances that the edifice work very well.”
He also assured that the vehicles were properly maintained as trackers would be mounted on them to monitor their movements to ensure that they were specifically use for the purpose supplied for.
In her remarks, the representative of UNICEF, Mrs Christiana Munduate said the main aim of the gesture was to safe the lives of children by reducing the number of polio cases across the state.
While urging the state government to ensure judicious utilisation of the donated items, Munduate said the objectives of the gesture was to ensure total eradication of the disease from Nigeria by 2024.
Earlier, the Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Muyi Aina identified “Sector Wide Approach” as one of the approaches to implementing health programmes in Nigeria championed by coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof. Muhammad Ali-Pate.
“The minister will ensure that everything we do as partners and government at multiple levels; the national government, state government and local government are coordinated and all moving in the same direction. This is platform to be able to do that.
“A lot of efforts and a lot of investment is going on, states spend a lot but if you are able to better coordinate with all your partners, with the stakeholders, with traditional rulers. This gives an opportunity to come together, meet, work and chat a course,” he advised.
He said as the edifice would be managed by the donors for a number of months, “I urge the state government to identify key staff and we will under study them.”
Aina appealed the state government to appoint a technical manager, who must be a competent person, a leader, somebody who understands better, understands immunisation and who would also galvanise the partnership.
Also Goodwill messages were received from Aliko Dangote Foundation, World Health Organisation (WHO) as well as Bill and Melinda Gate. The donation of the said vehicles was supported by Federal government, Gavi and UNICEF.