Sokoto — Dr Ado Mohammed, the Executive Director of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA), says there are currently 77 cases of the wild polio virus in 10 states of the country.
Mohammed gave the figure in Sokoto on Saturday at a polio sensitisation meeting with 35 Northern Emirs. He said that the states were Kano, Katsina, Sokoto, Zamfara, Jigawa, Yobe, Borno, Kaduna, Niger and Bauchi.
Mohammed also said that the existing cases of the wild polio virus were prevalent in 209 wards of 30 local governments of the nation.
The agency's boss further said that President Goodluck Jonathan was fully committed to the total eradication of the disease from the country on or before the end of this year. "The president had set up a presidential task force on polio eradication and he has the political will and determination in this direction.
"He has also doubled domestic funding for the ongoing positive efforts to totally interrupt the transmission of the disease. "The president also actively participates in all the routine meetings of the committee, which is being headed by the Minister of State for Health, Dr Ali Pate," Mohammed said.
He said that the meeting, which was convened at the instance of the Sultan of Sokoto, would address areas of critical challenge in the ongoing efforts to tame polio transmission.
"Only Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan are currently harbouring the disease globally and this is a source of concern for all the stakeholders. "We want to make sure that all the affected communities are adequately reached with all the hitherto missed children fully immunised against polio and other child killer diseases," Mohammed said.
He commended the Sultan and all the Northern traditional and religious leaders, among other stakeholders for their untiring efforts to totally interrupt the transmission of the wild polio virus. The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa'ad Abubakar III restated the commitment of the traditional rulers in the North to continue to do everything humanly possible to stop the transmission of the polio virus.