According to a June 19, 2020, news story in The Guardian, The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared Nigeria free of wild polio, following the completion of documentation for the free status. Rotary International shared news last September about the documentation process and said Nigeria has been officially removed from the list of countries where polio is endemic. “It’s been 14 months since any cases of polio caused by the wild virus have been detected there,” writes RI.
The UN health agency disclosed this on its regional office for Africa in Brazzaville, Congo, official twitter account @WHOAFRO.
“Today, Nigeria’s complete documentation for Wild Polio virus free status was accepted by the Africa Regional Certification Commission for polio eradication (ARCC). “It is a historic day for Nigeria, Africa and the Global Polio Programme,’’
“Rotary congratulated Nigeria on its tremendous accomplishment in stopping polio,” says RI President K.R. Ravindran. “On behalf of the entire Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), we thank volunteers, health workers, and parents in communities across Nigeria for their tireless commitment to ensuring every last child is protected against this devastating disease. In the months ahead, their dedication will remain as important as ever, as we work to keep Nigeria polio-free and to eliminate polio from its final strongholds in Pakistan and Afghanistan.”
Nigeria’s success is the result of several sustained efforts, including domestic and international financing, the commitment of thousands of health workers, and new strategies that reached children who had not previously been immunized because of a lack of security in the country’s northern states.
Dr. Faisal Shuaib, Executive Director and CEO of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), in a tweet at @drfaisalshuaib described the documentation as historical.
“Amazing moment in history to have had our polio-eradication documentation accepted by (ARCC); the Nigeria team led by NPHCDA and partners demonstrated evidence of our polio-free status.
“Nigeria achieving a Wild Polio Virus-free status today, is significant on multiple fronts. “I look back at the incredible leadership that has brought us here.
“Apart from President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, the two most important people who have made it possible due to their financial and technological contributions have been Mr Aliko Dangote and Mr Bill Gates. To read more from Rotary, click here.