The World Health Organisation (WHO) says it is set to declare Nigeria a polio free country. This is according to a statement by the Media and Communication Expert for WHO Nigeria, Charity Warigon, in Abuja. Ms Warigon quoted Clement Peter, Officer in charge (OiC) of WHO office in Nigeria, as stating that in two months the country would reach three years without a polio case and could be certified polio free.
“The OiC notes that if Nigeria does not report a wild polio case in the next two months, the country will reach three years without a polio case and could be certified polio-free after submitting its papers to the regional commission in the first quarter of 2020. He emphasise Nigeria’s efforts to reach this milestone, particularly through building community acceptance of vaccines and strong political commitment. He cited ongoing conflict in North Eastern Nigeria, general low immunity levels, and funding as key challenges to the programme,’’ Ms Warigon stated.
She said the WHO office in Nigeria is optimistic of Nigeria’s ability to meet the polio free status considering government’s recent efforts to fight the polio scourge. “The OiC expressed optimism that Nigeria is on track to meet its goals and that the government and its partners are implementing a number of strategies to overcome the challenge. Such strategies include strengthening primary health care, improving disease surveillance across the
country, working with neighbouring countries on vaccination campaigns and setting up co-financing with donors,” she said.