President/Chief Executive of the Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, has initiated a reward system that would encourage folks in rural areas to take part in the routine polio immunization programme, in all the 44 local governments of Kano State.
Dangote, who announced this at a mid-year review meeting in Kano at the weekend, said there was the need to introduce a reward and sanction system to eradicate the disease from the state. Polio cases in Nigeria have reduced from 97 in 2012, to 25 in June 2013, according to the report.
He promised that women who present their children for immunization would be rewarded with free Dangote household products such as noodles, pasta and sugar. Dangote also proposed a more regular meeting of the stakeholders to assess the strategy in order to accelerate the pace of progress recorded so far.
The Dangote Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Kano State Government had last November signed a Memorandum of Understanding to embark on strategies aimed at eradicating polio from the state. The partnership agreement also includes strengthening immunization as a core component of Primary Health Care (PHC).
Chairman of the Bill &Melinda Gates Foundation, Mr. Bill Gates expressed delight with the progress recorded so far assuring that his organization would provide necessary support to ensure the programme succeeds.
On his part, Kano State Governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso said the programme has the political will to succeed, noting that the efforts of partners are yielding positive result as the number of polio cases has come down to three, from 28 in 2012. He announced that the best local governments in the state would be rewarded to encourage more participation.
In his remarks at the occasion, Minister of State for Health, Ali Pate expressed satisfaction that Nigeria was on course to eradicating the disease, adding that President Goodluck Jonathan has directed that all the necessary funding be made available for the programme.
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