Nigeria’s prompt management of the recent outbreak of wild poliovirus in Borno State has been hailed by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Nigeria was warming up to receive a polio-free certification from the organization before two fresh infections were reported in two local government areas of insurgency-ravaged Borno State over two weeks ago.
The WHO’s regional director, Matshiduso Moeti, who made the commendation at the 66th session of the African Regional Committee Meeting holding in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, also praised the openness of Nigeria’s Federal Government in the handling of the process that led to the discovery of the two new cases and the immediate declaration of Public Health Emergence in the area.
Ms. Moeti particularly commended President Muhammadu Buhari for providing leadership especially his directive to the relevant government agency to immediately release funds budgeted for vaccines.
The WHO regional director, who noted the leadership of Nigeria in addressing the issue, pledged the commitment of the body and other partners to work with Nigeria in addressing the problem of polio resurgence in Nigeria, adding that with concerted effort, Nigeria will soon attain the zero polio case status.
She, however, called on Nigerians to remain calm as the government was doing the needful to protect the citizens from polio.
She said that the government’s posture was a great motivation for WHO and other polio eradication partners to support the country.
Nigeria’s Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, expressed satisfaction with the level of understanding of the issues around the resurgence of polio showed by the WHO and partners and the level of support promised.
He also expressed satisfaction on the agreement reached on the need for all the countries of the Lake Chad Basin to work toward kicking out polio out of the region.
Prof. Adewole expressed the firm commitment of the Nigerian Government to protect the health of Nigerians.