Kaduna State Governor, Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai, has been commended for his leadership in improving child health.
The Co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), Mrs. Melinda Gates, gave this assessment when she visited the state yesterday.
Gates, whose plane landed at the Kaduna Airport, also lauded the state’s drive to improve the range and credibility of data collection.
“Your commitment to data collection is really admirable. You can’t make decisions without data. We are pleased to help you with that” she said.
She assured the governor that the Gates Foundation has a joint interest with the Kaduna State Government to reduce infant mortality.
Assessing the progress on routine immunisation, Gates said the BMGF was impressed by the scale of the polio surveillance mounted by the state government.
Speaking further on the healthcare segment of the partnership between her foundation and the state, Gates said the primary health centres would continue to be supported so that they can offer a broad range of services to patients.
She also promised that the BMGF would invest more in agriculture and in promoting access to financial services.
Malam El-Rufai expressed gratitude to the Gates Foundation for supporting the state.
He proposed that the partnership between the foundation and the state should be strengthened by making it to better cohere with the state’s priorities.
These include maternal and child health, child spacing and nutrition.
He further suggested that the BMGF should support the state’s data revolution, its state residency identification system and efforts to promote security and justice, and to address the root causes of poverty and development.
The governor noted that Gates’ direct flight to Kaduna Airport is a welcome endorsement. He added that Kaduna State looks forward to strengthening the relationship between the two partners.