19 September 2017

Nigeria: WHO Urges Govt to Tackle Challenges Facing Polio Eradication

Abuja — As Nigeria celebrates 13 months without Polio outbreaks, the World Health Organisation(WHO) yesterday urged the federal government to tackle issues threatening the total eradication of the disease in the country.

Speaking at the 34th Expert Review Committee (ERC) in Abuja, WHO Country Representative, Wondimagegnehu Alemo noted that lack of access to some of the local government areas in Borno State is one of the reasons polio cases still arise in the country.

Wondi said although it is good to celebrate 13 months without polio, the Nigerian government needs to put in more efforts towards totally eradicating the virus.

He further added that quality surveillance is a crucial part that needs attention, to help detect any polio virus circulation.

In the same vein, the chairman of the ERC, Prof Oyewale Tomori pointed out that celebrating one year of no polio virus is not an achievement but a wakeup call noting that the country had once marked two years with no traces of the disease until it was later detected.

Tomori therefore advised that more efforts be exacted into eradicating the virus.

Speaking earlier, the Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, (NPHCDA) Faisal Shuaib said there is a need to put in more work to access trapped populations.

Faisal also pleaded with the committee and development partners to lay more emphasis on routine immunization and systems strengthening.

In his goodwill message, the representative of the Centre for Disease Control, CDC Mabesh Swaminatha assured the gathering of the centre's commitment to the goal of eradicating polio.

He also urged all partners to support Primary HealthCare Centres, stating that polio is one out of all diseases that need attention.

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