Chairman of the Expert Review Committee on Polio and Routine Immunisation, Professor Oyewale Tomori has said that Nigeria needed to be more aggressive to sustain its present momentum to maintain a polio-free status and completely kick out the Wild Polio Virus, WPV, from Nigeria and Africa.
Professor Tomori made this call yesterday in Abuja at the 30th meeting of the Expert Review Committee on Polio Routine Immunisation, meant to review the progress that Nigeria has made so far on polio eradication.
He said for the country to get to the 2017 target year for polio eradication and certification, “we are going to be more aggressive in our plan which is to have every child in Nigeria free of polio adding that all those not reached the last time to would be reached during the next two years.”
Other aggressive moves the professor disclosed include reaching the internally displaced people and those displaced outside the country like Cameroon and other places.
Director, Polio Eradication, WHO, Geneva, Dr Hamid Jafari congratulated Nigeria on its progress on polio eradication and called for more government funding and political commitment towards polio eradication by 2017 and beyond.
Jafari said: “Nigeria has made remarkable progress in terms of polio as it has been one year since the last polio case was reported due to WPV. This is unprecedented progress because Nigeria has been one of the largest country in the African region and it has been a source of PV spread in Africa and in the world so progress in Nigeria brings the world in nearly completing global polio eradication.”
Executive director of National Primary Health Care Development Agency, NPHCDA, Dr. Ado Muhammed said that the expert committee review meeting was meant to review the progress made in polio eradication, consolidate on the gains, find ways to move forward towards the goal of polio eradication.
“Our goal is eradication and strengthen areas to attain interruption and to see the challenges the challenges especially in reaching children in those hard to reach areas like Borno and Yobe and funding challenge and to see how to close these national gaps.”
UNICEF country representative to Nigeria, JEAN Gough, who congratulated the government and Nigerian children, urged Nigeria to continue to sustain the gains it had reached.
She also paid tribute to people who lost their lives and those injured, saying “they have given us more push and today we are celebrating because of those people.”

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