Nigerian newsmen under the auspices of Journalists Initiatives and Immunization Against Polio (JAP) have commended the federal government for attaining a polio-free status for the country; while the World Health Organization declares polio epidemic over in Nigeria.
JAP tasked the President Buhari administration to boost routine immunization, increase surveillance and monitoring, in order to attain a complete eradication of polio from the country.
The World Health Organization (WHO) this past weekend declared polio gone from Nigeria since no new cases of the disease has been reported since July 24, 2014 in the country. The Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) said Nigeria attained a “historic achievement” in global health.
The WHO, UNICEF, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, NPHCDA, Rotary International, EU Prime, Compass, PATHs I and II, and many others collaborated to kick poliovirus out of Nigeria, and JAP is eternally grateful to them all. But JAP tasked the federal government to turn its attention to eradicating other child-killer diseases such as tetanus, measles, tuberculosis, whooping cough, diphtheria, and hepatitis B among others.
“We are delighted that finally Nigeria is on course to eradicate polio from the country. We were all here in 2012 when India exited the ignominious club of polio countries and became polio free. Today Nigeria has achieved a year without any new case of polio; we still have two more years of remaining polio free to eradicate the disease,” said Kunle Sanni, National Team Leader of JAP in Kaduna yesterday.
“Nigeria still rank very poor globally and in Africa in the area of maternal and child mortality and there is need to improve our healthcare, strengthen routine immunization and more importantly, improve our health facilities for the country to reduce the avoidable deaths of its mothers and children and this we can only achieve with the support of the key health stakeholders and development partners,” he added.