Development partners hail Nigeria for three years without polio

Gloria Essien,Abuja

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As Nigeria celebrates three years of no recorded case of Wild Polio Virus in the country, development partners have hailed the country on the achievement.

Development partners at an event in Abuja to mark the day, applauded the Nigerian government for the resilience and hard work towards achieving the goal.

The World Health Organisation Officer in Charge, Mr. Clement Peters, commended Nigeria for the hard and tireless work.

Nigeria has strengthened supplementary immunization activities and routine immunization, implemented innovative strategies to vaccinate hard-to-reach children and improved acute flaccid paralysis and environmental surveillance. These efforts are very commendable. Despite this significant progress, ending all forms of polio across the region remains an unfinished success story”. Dr. Peters said.

He urges government’s at all levels and development partners to redouble efforts to prevent the resurgence of wild polio virus in Nigeria.

The UNICEF Country Representative, Dr. Pernille Ironside, said that the three years of no polio outbreak in Nigeria is a “monumental achievement”.

She noted that with the success achieved, more children would be prevented from paralysis.

On his part, the the Country Director of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Dr. Paulin Basinga, commended Nigeria for doing a job.

“Nigeria has made tremendous progress in recent years and must continue its hard work to address remaining challenges, especially by continuing to improve its political commitment and domestic financing for health to improve routine immunization coverage to ensure no child, anywhere in Nigeria, ever dies of vaccine-preventable diseases again.
Eradicating all types of polio will be one of the greatest achievements in human history, and will have a lasting, positive impact on the world’s health systems for generations to come”. Basinga said.

In his goodwill message, the Rotary Club International, said that until certification is done, Nigeria must sustain the tempo.

Similarly, the US Center for Disease Control, speaking through Dr. Mahesh Swaminathan, described the event as a product of hard work which must not stop.

On their part, the Northern Traditional Leaders Council, pledged to continue with educating their subjects about the importance of immunisation.

According to the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, Dr. Abdullaziz Abudullahi, said that the ministry is committed to the eradication of wild polio virus in Nigeria.

The UN Ambassador to the UN, Mr. Andrew Young, says ” there’s more work to be done as Nigeria is the only African country still with polio.

He added that if Nigeria eradicate the virus, the continent would be free of wild polio virus.

Ime Njoku