Polio survivors rally for sustained fight against virus
Hundreds of people crippled after being afflicted by poliomyelitis in childhood thronged Abuja on roller blades on Saturday morning to raise awareness about the need for Nigeria to continue fighting Polio until the disease is hopefully eradicated by 2017.
It comes after Nigeria successfully interrupted transmission of wild polio virus after no new infection was recorded for the last 15 months.
The 2km road walk to mark World Polio Day saw members of the Polio Survivors Group trekking from Old Parade Ground in Garki, Area 10, round an entire city block, a walk that lasted more than an hour, while police, the Federal Road Safety Corps and Civil Defence mounted security.
Chairman of Rotary International’s Nigeria National Polio Plus Committee, Dr Tunji Funsho, said they have made a promise to the children of the world to eradicate polio and warned against complacency which could bring back the virus.
Dr Rilwan Mohammed, head of the FCT Primary Health Care Development Agency, speaking on behalf of the FCT permanent secretary, John Chukwu, said health workers would work to maintain Nigeria’s removal from list of polio-endemic countries by shoring up routine immunization and active surveillance.