Nigeria seeks certification on polio eradication

Cyril Okonkwo, Abuja.

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Nigeria has moved to seek for certification on the elimination of Wild Polio Virus, WPV, as the country marks three years milestone without any case of the virus.

Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, stated this in his report to Thursday’s meeting of the National Economic Council, NEC, presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, who briefed State House correspondents after the meeting, said the three-year period without the virus in Nigeria “states our progress towards certification.”

He said the African region would commence a six-month period of receiving the criteria for certification.

Obaseki stated that the Minister of Health, in his report to the Council, stressed the need to improve the quality of the campaigns in order to stop the outbreak of the Circulating Vaccine-Derived Polio Virus 2, CVDPV2 as well as the need for increased routine immunization.

He said the minister identified some challenges as follows, including lack of release of counterpart funds by the Local Government Chairman as one of the key problems in achieving successful routine immunization and insecurity concerns in parts of the of country.

Obaseki said the minister requested NEC to convene the meeting of the Presidential Task Force on Immunization and for sustainability of political oversight by the political class.

According to Obaseki, the Ehanire in his reported, also requested for the establishment and re-activation of State Task Force on immunizations; quarterly release of appropriated funds for Routine Immunization and other Primary Health Care Activities as well as timely release of funds by the States and LGAs for immunization campaigns.

Ime Njoku