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Zulum Assures Bill Gates, Dangote Foundation Of Prompt Payment of Counterpart Funding on Polio Immunization

By Ahmed Abu, The Nigerian Voice, Maiduguri

Borno State Governor Prof. Babagana Umara Zulum has assured members of Bill and Melinda Gates and Dangote Foundation of prompt payments of their counterpart funding for the routine immunization exercise in the state to rid the state of polio.

The governor gave the assurance Monday during a meeting with the delegations of the organizations at the Government House Maiduguri.

Gov. Zulum said, payments of counterpart funding was very vital and necessary to enable the team embark on proper enlightenment campaign for effective routine immunization to areas that are inaccessible in the state.

Zulum also appreciated the officers and men of the Nigerian army for their contributions in the routine exercise to make the state polio free while expressing optimism that with the military, co-opted into the campaign train, Borno State will soon achieve the desired objectives.

Prof. Zulum added that a bill on National Health Insurance Scheme in the state will soon be presented to the State House of Assembly members for passage into law, noting that, the present administration will do everything possible to bring health care delivery services to the door steps of the poor masses across the state.

He said already within his three months in office, he had constructed 10 health care facilities in different locations in the state and promised to construct 10 more health centers more cater for the health needs of the people.

Zulum also commended the two foundations for their untiring efforts in the routine immunization in Borno State while appealing that all the areas that are not accessible should be effectively covered during the campaign.

The governor however acknowledged the various financial assistance from the two organizations, most especially, Bill and Melinda Gates for constantly coming to the aid of the government.

Earlier in his remarks, the President of Bill and Melinda Gates , Dr Chris Elias reiterated the commitment of their foundation to work closely with Borno state government to strengthen all efforts towards the success of the routine immunization to rid the state of polio.

Also speaking,the Executive Secretary, Borno State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr Sule Meleh said, "there are still about forty three thousand children found in an inaccessible settlements yet to be immunized due to the boko haram terrorists activities".

" But efforts are being made with the help of the military to reach out to them", Meleh said.

Commending the efforts of the state government for the prompt payments of the counterpart funding, Dr Mele solicited for more assistance from the two foundations and Local Government Chairmen for the next campaigns in preparatory for the next routine immunization.

In his remarks, the Theater Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj. Gen. Olusegun Adeniyi said, "the command will use all available resources at its disposal to mobilize all officers and men to support the initiative of Bill and Melinda Gates as well as Dangote Foundations to see that all nooks and crannies of the state are reached to eradicate polio in Borno state".