Polio in Nigeria- one step closer to eradication
Nigeria has been removed from the list of polio endemic countries. The announcement made by the World Health Organisation was made at a meeting of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative in New York last week.
This ‘historic achievement’ follows Nigeria going 12 months without a new case of wild poliovirus. As recently as 20212, Nigeria accounted for more than half of all polio cases worldwide. Since then, multi agency efforts have been made. The government, civil society, religious leaders and health workers across the country have promoted polio immunisation leading to more than 45 million children under the age of 5 being immunised.
Polio, which can cause lifelong paralysis, has now been eradicated globally following a 25 year international campaign. Nigeria’s achievement means that the polio endemic remains in only two countries- Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Although Nigeria has made remarkable progress against polio over the past year, 3 years must pass without a new case of the disease for it to receive official certification as polio free.
Dr Ado Muhammad , Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency in Nigeria stated:
“We Nigerians are proud today. With local innovation and national persistence, we have beaten polio. We know our vigilance and efforts must continue in order to keep Nigeria polio-free.”