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Saturday, May 21, 2022

WHO Accepts Nigeria Polio-Free Status ‘Documentation’

African Regional Commission for Certification of Polio Eradication has accepted documentation showing Nigeria’s claim to be polio free. The acceptance paces way for the country to be officially certified polio-free at a meeting of health ministers next month.

ARCC, an organ of the World Health Organisation, has been assessing the activities of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, which coordinates primary health and routine immunisation in the country.

The drive for a polio-free status started last year after the country crossed a three-year threshold with no new infection of wild polio virus on record.

ARCC has been assessing NPHCDA’s documentation of the progress toward a polio-free status, said ARCC chairperson Rose Leek during talks with the agency and partners in Abuja.

“We went with you and saw the happenings in the fields all these years,” she said.

“The ARCC has listened to your documentation, presentation and exhaustive responses to all those questions that were put… and we really want to congratulate and tell you that the documentation was accepted.”

Nigeria has battled years to get free of polio. The status suffered some setback on account of insurgency in the northeast. Large areas were cut off from healthcare delivery and vaccinators, leaving thousands of children out of immunisation coverage.

Getting close to being certified polio free and having the country’s documentation accepted by the ARCC is “an amazing moment in history,” said NPHCDA executive director Faisal Shuaib.

“The leadership provided by Mr. President is mainly responsible for the rare achievement.”

He also commended traditional and religious leaders, partners, past presidents, ministers, ED/CEOs of NPHCDA/NPI, leaders in the public health space, the media, polio victims, parents and others for being the constant driving force and motivation behind the efforts of the frontline workers.

Daily Trust

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