Melinda Gates commends Kaduna Government on child health, others.

The Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has been commended for his leadership in improving child health. Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, BMGF, gave this assessment when she visited Kaduna on Wednesday.


Mrs. Gates, whose plane landed at the Kaduna Airport, told the governor that the Gates Foundation also lauded Kaduna State’s drive to improve the range and credibility of data collection.


“Your commitment to data collection is really admirable. You can’t make decisions without data. We are pleased to help you with that”.


She assured the governor that the Gates Foundation has a joint interest with the Kaduna State Government to reduce infant mortality.


Assessing the progress on routine immunisation, Mrs. Gates said the BMGF is impressed by the scale of the polio surveillance mounted by the Kaduna State Government.


Speaking further on the healthcare segment of the partnership between her foundation and Kaduna State, Mrs. Gates said that the primary health centres will continue to be supported so that they can offer a broad range of services to patients.


Mrs. Gates also promised that the BMGF will invest more in agriculture and in promoting access to financial services.


Mr. El-Rufai expressed gratitude to the Gates Foundation for supporting Kaduna State. He proposed that the partnership between the foundation and the state be strengthened by making it to better cohere with the state’s priorities. These include maternal and child health, child spacing and nutrition. He further suggested that the BMGF should support the state’s data revolution, its state residency identification system and efforts to promote security and justice, and to address the root causes of poverty and development.

The governor noted that Mrs. Gates’ direct flight to Kaduna Airport is a welcome endorsement. He added that Kaduna State looks forward to strengthening the relationship between the two partners.

“Lift up an economy in Africa…Start with the Women”- Melinda Gates

Women are key to boosting economic growth in Africa and the developing world, Melinda Gates said Tuesday as she stopped off in Paris to press crisis-hit France to keep funding projects for women and girls.

 Speaking to AFP, the philanthropist said empowering women is a key focus of the powerful Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in its struggle to help people in developing countries be more autonomous in health, family planning and crucially economic decisions.

“That has an impact on her children’s life… as well as the whole community,” said Gates ahead of a public event with Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, aimed at drumming up support for women and girls in development.

She adds that, “If you want to lift up an economy in Africa, you basically start with the women.”

Maternal deaths have gone down a third in the last 30 years and childhood deaths have been cut in half, said Gates, who started the foundation with her billionaire husband Bill, America’s richest man.