Polio free Nigeria: JAB congratulates Buhari
Journalists Initiatives on Immunisation Against Polio (JAP) has congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari on the feat of Nigeria’s exit from the polio endemic countries, while calling for sthrengthening of routine immunisation, increased surveillance and monitoring to achieve the greater goal of polio eradication in the country.
The World Health Organization at the weekend announced that polio is no longer endemic in Nigeria as the country for the first time was able to interrupt transmission of wild poliovirus. Nigeria has not reported a new case of wild poliovirus since July 24, 2014, even as all laboratory data confirmed full 12 months without a new case. Thus made the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) to tag the feat a ‘historic achievement’ in global health.
JAP, who also lauded the efforts of WHO, UNICEF, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, NPHCDA, Rotary International, EU Prime, Compass, PATHS I and II, traditional and religious leaders and Islamic scholars in achieving the target, urged the federal government to immediately commence efforts in eradicating the other child killer diseases such as diphtheria, tetanus, tuberculosis, measles, whooping cough and hepatitis B.
Addressing the media yesterday in Kaduna, National Team Leader of JAP, Mr Kunle Sanni said that despite achieving the significant feat of exiting the polio endemic countries, Nigeria still have a lot to do in ensuring that polio is eradicated in the country and in reducing the high maternal and child morbidity rate across the country by improving healthcare, strengthening routine immunisation and improving health facilities.
Flanked by the other national directors of the body, the JAP Leader said it is imperative to laud the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency and other organisations that contributed to the achievement because their effort is still required for the country to eradicate polio and earn the polio-free status and certification from the World Health Organisation.
“We are delighted that finally Nigeria is on course to eradicating polio from the country. We were all here in 2012 when India exited the ignominious club of polio countries and became polio free. Today Nigeria has achieved a year without any new case of polio, we still have two more years of remaining polio free to eradicate the disease.
“While we congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari for the achievement, we want to urge the federal government, National Primary Healthcare Development Agency and the other stakeholders to continue their efforts in eradication polio in Nigeria, while also tackling the other child killer diseases like diphtheria, tetanus, tuberculosis, measles, whopping cough and hepatitis B.
“Nigeria still rank very poor globally and in Africa in the area of maternal and child mortality and there is need to improve our healthcare, strengthen routine immunisation and more importantly, improve our health facilities for the country to reduce the avoidable deaths of its mothers and children and this we can only achieve with the support of the key health stakeholders and development partners,” Mr Sanni added.