Leadership (Abuja)

Nigeria: Insecurity - Nigeria Extends Polio Eradication Target

Indications have emerged that Nigeria's target of eradicating polio this year may have been shifted to next year due to insecurity in the country.

The outgone head of Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), David Ross, gave the disclosure during a send-off party organised for him by the Minister of Health, Prof Onyebuchi Chukwu in Abuja on Monday night.

Chukwu had announced in December last year that Nigeria might quit the league of those countries with the child-crippling disease by this year.

He said, "I hope that by next year (2013), we will tackle it and maybe we will be the ones accusing other nations of being the ones holding the world back in the eradication of the disease (polio) as they are now accusing Nigeria of doing."

Meanwhile, Ross said CIDA had increased its investment in Nigeria's health sector to $22 million from the initial $11 million a year.

"I think that Nigeria is on course to eradicating polio completely although there are some challenges, particularly given the security situation in parts of the north and the movement of population which affects the spread of the virus.

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