Immunization polio
The Gombe State Government has launched a polio immunization campaign targeting 131,815 under-five children in Gombe Local Government Area.

Gates Foundation, Others Boost Polio Fight in Zamfara, Kebbi

Bill and Melinda Gates, Aliko Dangote foundations and eHealth Africa are supporting the Federal Government’s fight against polio and other vaccine-preventable diseases, with the establishment of an Emergency Operation Centres (EOCs) in Zamfara and Kebbi states.

According to eHealth Africa, the move was part of ongoing efforts to build a stronger health system and respond to local needs, adding that the facility would also respond to other public health issues through effective stakeholders’ planning, collaboration and institutional strengthening.

During the handover ceremony, in Zamfara and Kebbi states, the managers of the facility said the EOCs provided a boost to Nigeria’s public health sector and signified fresh drive and vigour for eHealth Africa to support public health interventions and provide underserved communities with tools to lead healthier lives.

Executive Director of eHealth Africa, Atef Fawaz, expressed satisfaction with the quality of the modern EOCs, saying the standard of the public health infrastructure was in line with global best practice.

He said: “In line with the organisation’s mission of building stronger health systems through innovative strategies, eHealth Africa has been leading the establishment of EOCs across Nigeria and other parts of Africa since 2012.”

“This experience of over a decade has positioned the organisation to understand and effectively implement an intervention of this magnitude.”

Senior Programme Manager, Kazeem Balogun, who led the mapping, design and set up of the critical health infrastructure, revealed that it took high level of diligence, resilience and collaborative approach to ensure the good people of Zamfara and Kebbi witnessed the important day.

He said: “It was very crucial to secure the support of critical stakeholders, especially the national and state primary healthcare development agencies, traditional and religious leaders, as well as international partners as their input was instrumental in ensuring successful completion and activation of the centre.

“It is our standard to always acquire modern equipment that will facilitate better planning, coordination and effective utilisation of data for informed public health emergency response.”

Manager of the project, Haruna Kaita, noted: “We are proud to be a leader in the establishment and management of the polio EOCs that have played a transformative role in Nigeria’s public health landscape.”