Sokoto, Nigeria – On March 21, USAID Mission Director Stephen M. Haykin joined the Sultan of Sokoto, Minister of Health Isaac Adewole, philanthropists Bill Gates and Aliko Dangote, and the governors of Bauchi and Sokoto states by video teleconference to sign two agreements to expand access to quality, affordable health care in the two states.
Under the four-year addenda to the Improving Routine Immunization and Expansion of Funding for Primary Health Care Memoranda of Understanding, USAID will provide technical assistance to the Bauchi and Sokoto state Primary Health Care Development agencies to help expand access to routine immunizations and primary health care. UNICEF will partner with the Gates and Dangote foundations to match the states’ investments in the sectors.
In return, the Bauchi and Sokoto governments agreed to earmark $1.8 million to invest in routine immunization and primary health care in 2018. Under the agreements, both states will incrementally raise their funding contributions in these sectors to become self-sufficient by 2022.
Haykin praised the agreements as a “new stage” in USAID’s partnerships with Bauchi and Sokoto, which would adapt its health programming to the needs of the states to help extend life-saving treatment to millions across Nigeria.
“I applaud the governors’ efforts to improve public health care service delivery in their states, and strongly encourage them to continue working towards optimizing their state’s capacity to deliver quality, affordable health services to their constituents,” Haykin said.
After the ceremony, Gates told the press “Vaccinations are phenomenal in their impact because a child that has not been vaccinated is twice likely to die. We can prevent millions of deaths through routine immunization.”