By Chris Nomjov
The World Health Organization (WHO), today, October 26th officially removed Nigeria from the list of polio endemic countries. The formal de-listing comes, one month after the global health agency made the declaration, that Nigeria was no longer, a Polio-endemic region.
WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti was at the state house today to meet with President Buhari for the formal de-listing of Nigeria.
the Regional Director met with Mr. President to formally announce to the government of Nigeria WHO’s decision to remove Nigeria from the list of Polio endemic countries, as a recognition of the immediate achievement of Nigeria in stopping the transmission of the Wild Polio Virus for a period of fourteen months, which had exceeded WHO’s target for interruption.
The Regional Director, Dr. Moeti, is also emphasized the support of policy makers and major stakeholders. She noted that despite tremendous progress in Nigeria, complacency is not a luxury at the disposal of the government and partners until the gains of this great feat is sustained for two years to be able to achieve the certification of Nigeria as a Polio-free Nation by 2017.
President Muhammadu Buhari, during his interface with the high level advocacy team on poliomyelitis, headed by the permanent secretary of the ministry said his administration would provide the necessary oversight over the programme to ensure that no child ever gets paralyzed again by Wild Polio Virus.
Consequently, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), under the leadership of the Federal Ministry of Health, has developed a robust Polio Emergency Plan with corresponding roadmap detailing strategies to sustain the achievement.
According to the Executive Director, NPHCDA, Dr. Ado Muhammad, “The Programme will continue to carry out high quality Polio campaigns, intensify routine immunization and enhance surveillance system, all aimed at sustaining the Polio zero case status of the country.”