From the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has come again a cheery news for Nigeria in its fight against polio.
The foundation announced a conditional $500,000 grant to states with enough commitment to the menace head on.
They must improve routine immunisation coverage and end polio test must be passed.
Besides, the foundation has also pledged to provide additional $250,000 for other health programme, on the condition that the governors are prepared to contribute $250,000 as matching grant.
The country has recorded 95 per cent reduction in polio incidence as of last year. But there were 32 cases reported across six northern states since the beginning of the year.
Besides Nigeria, Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan are the other countries with records of polio in recent times.
According to the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) secretariat in Abuja , the reward for a new initiative was reached last Tuesday in Seattle, United States of America (U.S.A.)
The initiative was meant to challenge the governors to deliver a dramatic improvement in polio and routine immunisation by the end of next year.
The programme, which was jointly initiated with the NGF, will recognise those governors whose states pass a pre-defined threshold to improve routine immunisation coverage and end polio.
The states that meet the threshold criteria will be awarded a $500,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support their top health priorities.
To receive the grant, the statement added that the state will need to pass a rigorous set of criteria based on outcomes in their polio programme and routine immunisation services.
The data to assess performance will be collected and managed by a Monitoring and Evaluation team led by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency and supported by polio eradication partners.
Also a panel of independent national and international public health experts selected by the foundation will assess the data and declare the winners at the end of 12 months. (The Nation)