Daily Trust (Abuja)

Nigeria: 'Polio Eradication Must Be Seen to Conclusion'

The Independent Monitoring Board (IMB), set up to independently verify progress towards the achievement of a polio-free world, has urged that the goal of polio eradication must 'absolutely be seen through to completion.'

The board after its meeting by teleconference on January 18 2013 also noted that although the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) missed its end-2012 milestone of stopping all wild poliovirus transmission globally, the world was at the brink of eradicating polio.

"Now more than ever, the world must be absolute in its resolve to eradicate polio," the board said in a letter signed by the chairman of the board, Sir Liam Donaldson to the World Health Organisagtion Director General, Dr Margaret Chan. "If the right things are done and commitment remains high, it will happen."

At the same time, however, the board cautioned that the GPEI needed 'unwavering global support' in these final stages of its mission. "Each country, and each of its partners, is signing up to deliver something that is difficult, but of historic importance and absolutely feasible," it said.

The IMB said the establishment of an Emergency Operations Centres, by the Presidential Task Force on Polio Eradication, to monitor and coordinate IPDs as well as providing feedback has "delivered sharp insights. They make clear how much more work is needed to stop polio in Nigeria".

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