- Rotary international, Bill Gates foundation raise $99m to wipe out virus
By Ibrahim Shuaibu in Kano and Hammed Shittu in Ilorin
Kano State Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, at the weekend personally immunised six children with polio vaccine to flag off the October round of National Immunisation Exercise against Polio in Rano Local Government Area of the state.
The governor equally demonstrated hand washing openly to mark this year United Nations Hand Washing Day during the event.
Ganduje, who said the routine exercise was to ensure that 100 per cent children equivalent to of 3.2million target population for polio immunisation exercise in the state are adequately captured to stem the spread of the virus.
He noted that for almost two and a half years now, the state has not recorded new polio case, hence the need for unrelenting campaigns to maintain the status.
The governor commended the traditional rulers and other stakeholders for working hand -in-hand with health workers towards ensuring that all children are immunised, adding that there are no cases of resistance in the recent time in the state.
In his speech, the state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Kabiru Ibrahim Getso, said the exercise would last for four days, adding that sufficient vaccines were provided as well as permanent staff were engaged to ensure full implementation of the polio immunisation across the state.
Getso also inspected the exercise in Bunkure and Dawakin Kudu Local Government Areas shortly after the flag-off exercise.
In his remarks, the Emir of Kano, who was represented by the District Head of Ajingi, Alhaji Wada Aliyu, said the emirate council and other stakeholders are much concerned over the permanent effect of disability being caused by the polio virus, therefore directing all traditional leaders to enforce compliance by ensuring that their people present their wards for adequate immunisation against the virus.
Also, in her remarks, UNICEF Chief Officer from Katsina Zonal Office, Mrs. Padmah Wetty, charged parents to inculcate the habit of hygienic protection by embracing the culture of frequent hand washing.
She pointed out that due to unhygienic lifestyle, millions of people die of diarrhea each year.
On polio immunisation, Wetty said she was impressed that the state is really committed towards polio eradication, appreciating the fact that since 2014, no new case has been recorded in the state.
Meanwhile, rotary International and Bill Gate Foundation have partnered to raise the sum of $99million to completely wipe out the wild polio virus in Nigeria.
The District Governor 9125 of Rotary International, Clement Adegoke, disclosed this to journalists in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, at the weekend.
Adegoke, who said Bill Gates is the global partner of Rotary International, noted that the idea of raising the fund is to clear the last outbreak of polio in the country.
According to him, “Out of this fund, Rotary International has raised $33million while Bill Gates Foundation donated $66million.”
“As the nation celebrates 56 years of independence, it was high time the leaders and the led reflected on the future of the country and change our orientation positively as well as guide against total dependence on government and also called for a review of the nation’s structure.”
The Rotarian governor urged Nigerians not to undermine the capacity of the leaders to lead us as a people but that the leaders should be challenged and put on their toes while the led must be objective about criticising their activities.
He cautioned the various political leaders particularly the leadership in the National Assembly to shun rancor but face the responsibility and challenges of improving the living standard of the electorate.
This, according to him, was the purpose for which they were elected.
He also said agriculture and entrepreneurship are the way out of the current economic recession unlike in the past when civil servants relied on salaries which according to him , was no longer forth coming.
On education, Adegoke enjoined the federal government to urgently address the infrastructural decay in the education sector by providing equipment, water , toilets and other updated teaching facilities in our various institutions of learning and equally organise in-house training for the teachers in order to update their knowledge.