Polio: WHO to officially delist Nigeria today
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.”