Niger State Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) of N1.29 billion with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) to strengthen and transform primary health care (PHC) in the state.
The four year partnership agreement which will take off next year was jointly signed in Minna, the state capital by Gov. Abubakar Sani Bello for the state government while Dr. Chris Elias, President Global Development of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation signed for the foundation.
The agreement which will also generate 2,500 job opportunities in various strata of the health sector of the state, is packaged to improve access to medical products and service delivery, especially at the rural areas.
Governor Sani Bello said that his administration placed priority attention on primary health care being the bedrock of health care delivery as a means of fighting quackery in the health sector, hence the decision of his administration to enter into partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
According to the governor, “Primary Health Care system is the way forward in our quest for a functional health care delivery. It is the nearest to the people and it is equally cost effective, hence our collaboration with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation”.
The Governor lamented the complete collapse of the health sector, which he said gave room for quack medical practitioners, especially in the rural areas, a development that has led to high mortality rate among the people.
He said his administration is committed to rebuilding the system with a sustainable approach that will make the system work. According to the governor, “We must give to our people what they want, especially in the area of health and education”.
Dr. Chris Elias, the President of Global Development of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation said the foundation was in partnership with Niger State government because of Governor Sani Bello administration’s ambitious vision and its ability to work as “one” united government.
“Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation values Niger State independent progression on PHC transformation and aims to support the state through thus systems transformation with a heavy focus on sustainability and institutionalization,” Elias stated.
The Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewoye commended the partnership between the Niger state government and the foundation, stressing that the MoU aligns with the vision of the Federal government at repositioning the health sector towards greater efficiency and improved service delivery.
The minister said that federal government was committed to reviving and strengthening the Primary Health Care system on order to integrate network of care that brings affordable and quality service delivery to the people.
Niger state Deputy Govetnor, Alhaji Ahmed Mohammed Ketso, Etsu Nupe and Chairman Niger State Council of Traditional Rulers, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar, Executive Director of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr. Faisal Shuaib and Dr. Paulin Basinga, BMGF country director for Nigeria witnessed the ceremony.
Jibrin Baba Ndace
Chief Press Secretary
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Report By: PRNigeria.com