Nigeria Moves Closer to Being Declared Polio Free

In August 2016, 4 new cases of polio-virus type 1 (WPV1) were reported in Borno State, the first WPV1 strain detected in Nigeria since 2014 (file photo).

Nigeria moved closer to being declared free of wild polio, following the completion of documentation for the free status, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said.

The UN health agency disclosed this on the official Twitter handle of its regional office for Africa in Brazzaville, Congo, @WHOAFRO.

"Today, Nigeria's complete documentation for Wild Polio virus free status was accepted by the Africa Regional Certification Commission for polio eradication (ARCC).

"It is a historic day for Nigeria, Africa and the Global Polio Programme," WHO said.

Meanwhile, Faisal Shuaib, Executive Director and CEO of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), in a tweet at @drfaisalshuaib described the documentation as historical.

"Amazing moment in history to have had our polio-eradication documentation accepted by (ARCC); the Nigeria team led by NPHCDA and partners demonstrated evidence of our polio-free status.

"Nigeria achieving a Wild Polio Virus-free status today, is significant on multiple fronts.

"I look back at the incredible leadership that has brought us here.

"Apart from President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, the two most important people who have made it possible due to their financial and technological contributions have been Mr Aliko Dangote and Mr Bill Gates.

"Thanks for this unquantifiable gift to Nigeria," he said.

NAN

Editor's Note: The story was edited to reflect that Nigeria moved closer to being declared polio free and not that Nigeria has been so declared by the WHO.

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