In a bid to improve routine immunisation coverage among people of Zamfara State, particularly under-served communities, the state government has awarded contract worth over N8 billion to connect about 172 villages to the national grid to improve on the potency of vaccines before being administered to beneficiaries.
The special advisor to the state governor on local government and chieftaincy affairs, Honorable Muhammad Muttaka Rini, announced this.
The aide to the governor was speaking during a one-day review meeting on Zamfara routine immunisation basket fund with 14 local government council chairmen of the state.
Hon. Rini said the decision by government to link additional communities that are under-served with routine immunisation programmes with the national grid was informed by the recent development in the power sector, saying that millions of naira was spent by the past and present governments for improvement of cold chain solar refrigerators but with poor sustainability outcome.
He observed that at the end of the meeting, two committees were set up to facilitate the efficiency of the state basket fund system; a four member committee headed by Hon. Special Advisor to facilitate the release of 72 months outstanding state contribution (20 per cent) to the state basket fund (N873,900.00 per month totalling N62,920.800.00 ). While the other five-member committee is headed by the permanent secretary, ministry of health to follow up on timely request, follow-up, as well as timely release of the monthly State Basket Funds contribution with effect from November 2015.
On the challenges currently affecting the health sector in the state, such as gross shortage of health workers across health facilities, the special adviser agreed to facilitate a meeting of relevant stakeholders with the state governor for further deliberation and secure his commitment towards addressing them.
Earlier, the permanent secretary of the state ministry of health Dr. Lawal Bungudu said the implementation of routine immunisation services through the state basket funds has recorded a positive impact to the lives of people of Zamfara State, pointing out that prior to its emergence in 2009, the state routine immunisation coverage was below 20 per cent.
According to him, the introduction of the basket fund with full support of LGA chairmen has significantly improved the delivery of routine immunisation services, IPDs for polio eradication and some nutrition activities.

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