Experts warn of negative impact of elections to polio eradication
An expert review committee on polio and routine immunisation has warned waning political will could hamper efforts to eradicate polio virus from Nigeria and that next year general elections could be a distraction.
The committee at its 27th meeting to assess Nigeria’s progress against polio noted little visible impact of governors and local government chairpersons in the first quarter of 2014, after continued fall in their activities in the past two years.
The rate of governors meeting their public was 61% last year, down from 67% in 2012, according to the committee’s assessment, affecting their ability to push advocacy.
Governors meeting with council chairmen also fell to 54% last year, down from 75% in 2012. They met even less with traditional rulers-46% last year, down from 50% in 2012.
“We still have pockets of local government areas that are either stagnant or declining in performance,” said Dr. Ado Muhammad, executive director of National Primary Health Care Development Agency.
“We are being proactive to ensure commitment and support at local level is in tune with commitment of federal government.” The lack of visible advocacy so far this year comes amidst marked progress in anti-polio campaign, with only one case of the virus recorded this year in Kano and recorded increase in routine immunisation.
It is listed alongside Borno and Yobe as states where security challenges that stifled the ability of vaccinators to access children.
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar (right) with former Head of State General Muhammadu Buhari, congratulating Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu (left), after his investiture as Chancellor of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) Ogbomoso, Osun State on Wednesday.