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Nigeria celebrates 3 years of being polio free

Health workers immunizing a baby against polio

Nigeria will begin filing documentation towards the final certification that will declare the West African country polio free, three years after a case of Wild Polio Virus (WPV) was detected in the North-East.

The Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuaib, who disclosed this to reporters in Abuja, stated that the country will submit a final country data for evaluation in 2020 to be reviewed the Africa Regional Certification Commission (ARCC) and if there are no new wild polio cases, the country will be certified polio free.

He said: “Today marks the third year of being polio free since the last outbreak of the virus in the North-East of Borno State. This opens up a potential for the entire WHO AFRO region receive wild polio-free certification as soon as mid-2020, leaving only one region out of six around the world; the Eastern Mediterranean region, where wild polio exists.

“Nigeria is the last polio-endemic country in Africa and if data confirms zero cases, by 2020, the country will be certified polio free.

“Since the last outbreak of wild polio in 2016 in the northeast, the country has worked to strengthen supplementary immunization activities and routine immunization, and has used innovative strategies to vaccinate hard-to-reach children, and improve the surveillance activities used to track the virus and find potential.”

It will be recalled that President Muhammdu Buhari released N9.8 billion in funding for the fight against the virus.

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Written by Ruth Olurounbi

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