This Day (Lagos)

1 February 2013

Nigeria Records Zero Case of Polio in Two Months

Nigeria has attained an outstanding feat by recording no incidence of poliomyelitis in the last two months.

Speaking with journalists in Abuja yesterday after meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan, the Director General of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr Ado Mohammed, said the committee on the eradication of polio had stepped up its efforts to totally eliminate the disease from the country in the next two years.

"What we told the president is that in the last two months, Nigeria has not recorded a single case of polio. What this means is that no child has been paralysed in Nigeria in the last two months. This is a major achievement," he said.

"Secondly, we also shared with the president the global good analysis which is done by the World Health Organisation (WHO) which shows that the population immunity has increased in Nigeria from 50 per cent to 80 per cent. What this means is that even if the polio Virus finds itself in any location, it may not be able to paralyse a child and even if it paralyses a child, other children in those places would be secured. Population immunity has improved," he said.

He noted that certification exercise by the WHO has revealed that the country is winning the battle in the fight against polio.

He said his team is working hard to ensure that the president's assurance that Nigeria would exit as a polio endemic country in 2015 is met.

On what is being done to insulate Nigerian children from the infection of Nigerien children as a result of the immunisation exercise conducted under the auspices of the Bill Gates Foundation, Mohammed said "we are fortifying our borders. We don't want to export polio and we don want other countries to export polio to our country. We have established thirty six border posts immunisation on all the major borders.

"What this means is that any child below five that is coming not Nigeria must b immunised and any child below five years that is going out of Nigeria must be immunised. We have trained Nigerian immigration service and custom officers to handle these. We are fortifying our borders to ensure that no case of polio comes into Nigeria and no case of polio is exported out of Nigeria," he explained.

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