Chairman of the Expert Review Committee, ERC, on Polio Eradication and Routine Immunization, Professor Oyewale Tomori has said that it is not yet uhuru for polio eradication in Nigeria as one year of no polio in the country is does not call for celebration.
Tomori said this Monday in Abuja at the 34th Meeting of the Expert Review Committee on Polio Eradication in Nigeria.
He disclosed that one year without polio in Nigeria is not an achievement and stressed that there is room for further improvement in eradicating polio from Nigeria.
He urged stakeholders in the health sector to put in more efforts to eradicate polio in the country.
Tomori said, “Despite the routine immunization that is carried out in the country, we still have issue with polio ”
“This is not commendable, all hands must be on deck to eliminate polio in the country “he noted, adding that government should release more fund for immunization.
“When we have more allocation, we will get better result” he stressed.
Professor Tomori further disclosed that called there will be innovation in the expert review committee for effective delivery.
World Health Organization, who, Country Representative, Dr Wondi Alemu called on the Nigerian government to improve on the quality of performance of polio eradication, adding that a multi stakeholders approach will ensure that partners and member States are actively involved in polio eradication.
Alemu emphasized on the need to reach out to all communities during routine immunization stating that there are cases where the polio is in circulation but cannot be detected, hence the need for proper surveillance.
World Bank Representative, Mr Oluwole Odutolu reiterated the bank’s commitment to support routine immunization in via financing ,and technical support to different states in the country, adding that there is a determination to reach the poorest of the poor so that there will be no gap in immunization.
“The reality is that poor kids do not have contact with immunization, and less than 20% even receive the immunization ”
“We will support service delivery in the North east by working with the Nigerian government ,regarding polio vaccine and routine immunization “he said, adding that the World Bank is seeking for a sustainable long term approach.
Meanwhile Executive Director of the Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr Faisal Shuaib also announced the restructuring of the expert review committee with the addition of four new members, promising that the members of the committee will be renewed after four years .
The new members of the committee include Professor Lara Egembi from ABU,Profesor Shade Ogunsola from UNILAG, Mallam Ali from Daily Trust Newspapers and Dr John Wonga from Bill and Melinda gates Foundation.