The World Health Organisation has removed Nigeria from the list of polio endemic countries. “We aim to bring a global halt to polio transmission by this time next year, but the only way to do this is for countries with low vaccination dates to re-double their efforts to reach every child, wherever they are and no matter how hard this may be”, Crowley said.
Noting that Nigeria’s efforts towards eradicating started in 1998, Buhari said the “crippling disease” had taken a lot of toll on the country in terms of human and material resources. He said his administration was however not relenting as it was determined to achieve the collective goal of saving Nigerian children from further paralysis from polio.
In September, the World Health Organization declared Nigeria polio-free. Also, the Presidential Taskforce on Polio Eradication (PTFoPE) will be reconstituted under the leadership of the federal ministry of health to provide political direction and oversight in order to avoid complacency and ensure certification by 2017.
Also yesterday, the World Health Organization expressed concern about lack of financial commitment by a few state governments towards eradicating polio. Just 20 years ago Nigeria was recording 1,000 polio cases a year the highest in the world. “I would like to commend the support of our traditional and religious leaders who have contributed immensely to the polio eradication efforts”.
It builds on the Pennies & More for Polio initiative, through which Rotary Foundation Canada raised $2.2 million between 2012 and 2013, which was matched by the Government of Canada. The president made the declaration while receiving the report of WHO Director General who was represented by the regional Director for Africa, Ms Matshidiso Moeti, at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Monday.
On the heels of historic success against polio in Nigeria and across the continent of Africa, Rotary gives an additional US$6.9 million boost to Nigeria to support immunization activities and surveillance spearheaded by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. “We would be ready to help you advocate for investments and work with partners that support various disease programmes”. On World Day, UNICEF, Rotary Urge Continued International Efforts to Eradicate.