L-R: ED/CEO, NPHCDA, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, Mr. Dana Hovig, Director Integrated Delivery, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Mallam Umar Tanko Al-makura, the Executive Governor Nasarawa State, Dr. Wole Odutola Senior Health Specialist & Representative World Bank and Dr. Kelechi Ohiri, CEO, Health Strategy and Delivery Foundation, at the official signing ceremony of a grant of $500,000.00 to Nasarawa State by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation today at Lafia, Nasarawa State.
Nasarawa State, Nigeria has received $500,000.00 (N180 Million Naira) special grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to improve health system. Governor of Nasarawa State, Mallam Umar Tanko Al-Makura in Lafia said during the official signing in ceremony of the special grant that it would be judiciously utilized to improve health system in the State especially to the overall benefits of the poor rural dwellers. He expressed his profound appreciation to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, World Bank and Similar International Organizations for approving Nasarawa State for the receipt of the grant.
In his remark, the leader of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Director, Integrated Delivery in the Foundation, Mr. Dana Hovig said the grant was meant to support the state in strengthening PHC System. Mr. Hovig disclosed that Nasarawa State was the first state to have been given such support in Nigeria by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He commended the Governor for his consistent commitment to PHC and improved living condition of the people of the state. Speaking at the ceremony, the Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Faisal Shuaib acknowledged prompt cash release of funds in support of PHC activities in the state by the Governor. Dr. Faisal described the grant signing ceremony as an historic event that signified brighter PHC in Nasarawa state.
The Executive Director regretted the morbidity and mortality from vaccine-preventable diseases and advocated greater commitment of all political and stakeholders at all levels to PHC implementation. Earlier in a presentation, the Commissioner for Health in the state, Dr. Daniel Iya, highlighted the record breaking achievements of the state in Performance Based Health Financing and its impact at improving health outcomes in the state.
Governor Al-Makura also praised the Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency Dr. Faisal Shuaib as a worthy ambassador of the State and Nigeria who had distinguished himself in his service to the Nation and the world in general. He recalled how Dr. Faisal made the State proud during his patriotic, selfless and courageous service as National Coordinator of National Ebola Eradication Committee and while in the service of international organizations. Dignitaries at the event included the state Deputy Governor, Honourable Silas Agara, the state Chief Judge, Secretary to the state Government, Leadership of the State House of Assembly and State Commissioners.