Nigeria to exit list of polio-endemic countries by year end – Health Minister Chukwu

polio-victims
polio-victims

Northern states perform poorly in polio eradication

Nigeria’s performance in polio eradication in 2012 and 2013 indicated that it would end polio transmission at the end of 2014, the Minister of Health, Onyebuchi Chukwu, has said.

A statement by the Public Relations Officer of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, NPHCDA, Saadu Salahu, in Abuja on Saturday, quoted the minister as saying that 42 local government areas around the country were low-performing in polio eradication .

He made the remarks at a two-day meeting in Kaduna.

The 42 were spread in 10 northern states: Kano (14), Sokoto (10), Kaduna (five), Borno (four), Katsina (three), Bauchi (two), Kebbi (two), Yobe (two), Niger (one) and Zamfara (one).

The minister recalled Nigeria’s leading performance in global eradication of small pox and recently, guinea worm disease, which was acknowledged by the World Health Oorganization, WHO, with a certificate for the nation as a guinea worm-free country.

He assured all the low-performing local councils of the federal government’s maximum support to tackle the pandemic.

Mr. Chukwu stressed that President Goodluck Jonathan, more than any of his predecessors, had given support to polio eradication by personally leading the war against the debilitating disease.

The statement said the Chairman of the governing board of NPHCDA, Bashari Aminu, urged the participants not to rest on their oars until Nigeria became polio-free.

The Executive Director of NPHCDA, Ado Muhammad, noted the efforts of all stakeholders at restricting the polio virus to just a few councils in Borno and Yobe.

The executive director emphasised that the meeting was to afford affected local government areas an opportunity to proffer solutions to Nigeria’s final exit from the polio-endemic nations.

Other speakers at the event included the representatives of WHO, UNICEF, Rotary International and Centre for Disease Control (CDC).

(NAN)


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