12 February 2013

Nigeria: We Remain Resolute On Polio Eradication - Govs' Forum

The Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) yesterday condemned the recent killing of health workers administering the polio vaccines in Kano, vowing that such killings would not deter the resolve to eradicate the polio virus from the country.

Nine female polio vaccinators were last week killed in two shootings in Kano State. Nigeria is one of only three countries in the world where polio is still endemic.

Condemnation has since trailed the killings, underscoring the huge setback it poses to the resolve, especially by the NGF, to eradicate the virus.

The setback comes at a time a major partner in the polio eradication initiative, Bill Gates, chairman of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is scheduled to visit the country to assess the progress made in the eradication of the virus.

However, the director-general of NGF, Asishana Okauru, who spoke to LEADERSHIP, said that the government was on top of the situation.

He said, "We want to put on record that the government and people of Kano have been steadfast in their effort to eradicate polio.

"We reassure development partners and all other stakeholders involved in this effort that the government of Nigeria is on top of this and remains committed to the complete eradication of Polio from Nigeria".

LEADERSHIP recalls that the governors at their last meeting in January this year, expressed worry over the "rising incidents of polio in the country" and unanimously agreed to have a monthly campaign to be headed by governors in all 36 states.

The governors from non-polio states were also enjoined to show solidarity to governors whose states have polio infection by way of joining them during polio campaigns in affected states.

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