Po­lio: WHO to of­fi­cially delist Nige­ria to­day

Daily Trust - - NEWS - By Ojoma Akor

The Di­rec­tor Gen­eral, World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion (WHO) would for­mally pro­nounce the delist­ing of Nige­ria as a Po­lio en­demic coun­try be­fore Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari to­day.

A state­ment from the fed­eral min­istry of health signed by the Di­rec­tor Press & Pub­lic Re­la­tions, Mrs Ayo Adesugba said the event which is sched­uled for the State House will see the coun­try host­ing the Di­rec­tor-Gen­eral of WHO, Dr. Mar­garet Chan, who will be rep­re­sented by WHO Re­gional Di­rec­tor for Africa, Dr. Mat­shidiso R. Moeti.

Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary, fed­eral min­istry of health, Mr. Li­nus Awute, said the Re­gional Di­rec­tor will meet with Mr. Pres­i­dent to for­mally an­nounce to the gov­ern­ment of Nige­ria WHO’s de­ci­sion to re­move Nige­ria from the list of Po­lio en­demic coun­tries, as a recog­ni­tion of the im­me­di­ate achieve­ment of Nige­ria in stop­ping the trans­mis­sion of the Wild Po­lio Virus for a pe­riod of four­teen months, which has ex­ceeded WHO’s tar­get for in­ter­rup­tion.

The Re­gional Di­rec­tor, Dr. Moeti, is also ex­pected to em­pha­size to pol­icy mak­ers and ma­jor stake­hold­ers, that de­spite tremen­dous progress in Nige­ria, com­pla­cency is not a lux­ury at the dis­posal of the gov­ern­ment and part­ners un­til the gains of this great feat is sus­tained for two years to be able to achieve the cer­ti­fi­ca­tion of Nige­ria as a Po­liofree Na­tion by 2017.

Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari, dur­ing his in­ter­face with the high level ad­vo­cacy team on po­liomyeli­tis, headed by the per­ma­nent sec­re­tary of the min­istry said his ad­min­is­tra­tion would pro­vide the nec­es­sary over­sight over the pro­gramme to en­sure that no child ever gets par­a­lyzed again by Wild Po­lio Virus.

Con­se­quently, the Na­tional Pri­mary Health Care De­vel­op­ment Agency (NPHCDA), un­der the lead­er­ship of the Fed­eral Min­istry of Health, has de­vel­oped a ro­bust Po­lio Emer­gency Plan with cor­re­spond­ing roadmap de­tail­ing strate­gies to sus­tain the achieve­ment.

Ac­cord­ing to the Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor, NPHCDA, Dr. Ado Muham­mad, “The Pro­gramme will con­tinue to carry out high qual­ity Po­lio cam­paigns, in­ten­sify rou­tine im­mu­niza­tion and en­hance sur­veil­lance sys­tem, all aimed at sus­tain­ing the Po­lio zero case sta­tus of the coun­try.”

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