President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria
It is good news for Nigeria as the World Health Organisation, WHO, late Friday announced that polio is no longer endemic in the country.
“This is the first time that Nigeria has interrupted transmission of wild poliovirus, bringing the country and the African region closer than ever to being certified polio-free,” the United Nations sub-body said in lengthy statement.
WHO quoted Global Polio Eradication Initiative, GPEI, the public-private partnership leading the effort to eradicate polio, as calling this stride a ‘historic achievement’ in global health.
Nigeria has not reported a case of wild poliovirus since 24 July 2014, and all laboratory data have confirmed a full 12 months have passed without any new cases, WHO noted.
As recently as 2012, Nigeria accounted for more than half of all polio cases worldwide.
Since then, a concerted effort by all levels of government, civil society, religious leaders and tens of thousands of dedicated health workers have resulted in Nigeria successfully stopping polio.
According to WHO, more than 200, 000 volunteers across the country repeatedly immunized more than 45 million children under the age of five years, to ensure that no child would suffer from this paralysing disease.
“Innovative approaches, such as increased community involvement and the establishment of Emergency Operations Centres at the national and state level, have also been pivotal to Nigeria’s success.
“The interruption of wild poliovirus transmission in Nigeria would have been impossible without the support and commitment of donors and development partners. Their continued support, along with continued domestic funding from Nigeria, will be essential to keep Nigeria and the entire region polio-free,” WHO said.
Polio, which can cause lifelong paralysis, has now been stopped nearly everywhere in the world following a 25-year concerted international effort.
It however remains endemic in only two countries – Pakistan and …Read More
Source:: PM Newspaper