The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) has said it will implement the recommendations of the Expert Review Committee on polio and routine immunization.
The Executive Director of the agency- Ado Mohammed, said this in Abuja at the 23th meeting of the expert review committee on polio and routine immunisation on Wednesday.
“The issue is that most of these recommendations are not being implemented; that is unacceptable. Henceforth all the recommendations that will come out from this committee will be implemented that is the only way as a country we will interrupt polio transmission. ”
Mohammed said polio eradication remained a global crisis because of Pakistan and Nigeria. He said that the Executive Board of the World Health Assembly (WHA) has placed polio eradication as a “Global public health emergency”.
The Executive Director said the Federal Government had demonstrated commitment to polio eradication through a number of measures such as the inauguration of the Presidential Task Force on Polio Eradication.
He said the increase in the domestic funding of polio eradication by 13 million dollars annually to 30 million dollars in 2012 and 2013 as well as the drafting of Nigeria’s Revised Polio Emergency Plan (NPEP) were indications of government’s will to eradicate polio .
Mohammed urged the committee to provide guidelines on how best to manage socio-cultural and political dimensions of the programme.
At the event, the Chairman of the committee, Oyewale Tomori, said the country had a problem with the implementation of strategies.
Tomori said that the country had many good plans and guidelines, but lacked the will to implement them.
“The issue for Nigeria is not strategy; the issue is implementing the strategy; we lay down certain guidelines and people have to do it; but if they don’t do what they should do, that’s always the problem.
“And we all know that in terms of plans, Nigeria has no problem, but how do we implement them.
“Until we get it to the end, – all the plans we have, we implement them fully to the end – that is the only time we can ever get solution to this problems.
In a message of goodwill, the Health Advisor of the EU Delegation to Nigeria, Dr Ayeke Anthony, advised relevant stakeholders to go beyond deliberation to actual work.
He urged the committee to focus more on interruption approach saying stakeholders from grassroots should be carried along.
“We have lot of plans, deliberations and so on but what the country needs now is how to interrupt polio and grassroots people must be carried along to make it work effectively.”