FG intensifies efforts to end polio, says one case is unacceptable

Senior Research Scientist, African Population and Health Research Centre, Chima O. Izugbara, Presenting a report on Maternal Health in Nigeria to the Hon. Minister Prof. Isaac Adewole in Abuja

USA (Health Ministry’ Report)- The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole has said that Nigerian Government had re-strategized and redoubled its efforts to end polio in Nigeria.

The Minister gave this indication at a meeting with Rotary leaders at Rotary International World Headquarters in Evanston, Illinois, USA recently, where they discussed the Nigerian government’s response to the recent polio outbreak in Borno State.

He said that the Nigerian government was determined to rid the country of polio, adding that it was worrisome that the new cases of polio in Nigeria had brought back the country on the list of countries where the disease is endemic.

“The new cases devastated us. Even one case is unacceptable. It is very unfortunate we are in this position, but we are recalibrating our efforts to end this disease, we consider this situation a national emergency,” Adewole said.

He said that Nigeria with the help of Rotary and its polio partners has already begun additional large-scale immunizations aimed at reaching 60 million children by December, adding that Rotary has released $8.5 million to support the response in high-risk areas and parts of the Lake Chad Basin.

He stressed that neighbouring countries including Cameroun, Central African Republic, Chad, and Niger, are also coordinating vaccinations to protect their polio-free status.

To checkmate the resurgence of polio, he said, Nigeria in collaboration with the countries in the Lake Chad Basin is conducting a ringed fence immunization along the country’s borders to protect children from the polio virus.

“We can’t do this alone, working with other countries is crucial to the overall polio eradication in Africa,” he stated.