The Federal Government has said that even though Nigeria is polio-free, still, more work is needed to ensure that the status is maintained.
The Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuaib, said this during a zoom celebration meeting with stakeholders on Friday in Abuja,.
Dr Faisal Shuaib said that The country has left the league of wild polio-endemic countries like Afghanistan and Pakistan, and will hopefully get its certification Africa Regional Certification Commission for Polio Eradication (ARCC), in August this year.
According to him, after three decades of tireless efforts to eradicate polio in the country, Nigeria has achieved the historical milestone of being wild polio-free.
“We have now arrived at the point where the ARCC has looked at all of the evidence that we have provided to the World Health Organization (WHO), and they have seen that there is no evidence whatsoever that there is still wild poliovirus in circulation anywhere in the country.
In the last few years, we have been able to pull together documentation that shows that we’ve looked everywhere and we’ve been able to provide enough vaccines to Nigerians and the wild polioviruses are no longer circulating.
“Wild polio-free certification means that there is no wild polio in Nigeria but it does not mean that the work is over. As a matter of fact, even harder work starts because we have to maintain this wild polio-free status.
We have to continue giving our kids the vaccinations that they need against wild polioviruses and vaccines against other vaccine-preventable diseases.
‘’We are also not forgetting that we still have Afghanistan and Pakistan that are endemic for wild polioviruses; that is, there is still a potential that this virus may be imported into Nigeria because we now live in a global village.” Dr Faisal Shuaib said.