By Laleye Dipo in Minna

The Niger State government and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on Tuesday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) worth N1.2 billion for the transformation of the primary health care system in the state.

Governor Abubakar Sani Bello signed on behalf of the state government, while Chris Elias of Global Development, an affiliate of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, signed for the organisation.

Apart from recruiting and training over 2,500 health workers from the 274 wards in the state, the agreement also entailed the renovation of dilapidated Primary Health Care structures in the wards.

Speaking at the ceremony, Governor Bello said: “The entire health system in the state has collapsed,” adding that the agreement would assist in their renovation.

“I am not playing the blame game. It had been a rot over the years,” Bello said of the dilapidation of the health sector in the state. “It is wrong for pregnant women to travel over five kilometres to access health care facilities,” he said, adding that under the arrangement, each ward would now have a functional health care facility.

Details later…