With no new cases for three consecutive years, Nigeria has become the latest country to attain the polio-free status, leading the World Health Organisation to officially announce the eradication of the virus in Africa.This declaration was done virtually in Yaounde, the Cameroonian capital, by the Chairman of the Africa Regional Certification Commission, Rose Leke.
She says the feat was achieved through averting 1.8 million cases of the wild virus, and the use of nine billion doses of the oral polio vaccines.
Two hundred and twenty million children were vaccinated multiple times, every year by volunteer vaccinators, who supported the campaign between 1996 and 2020.
And President Buhari seems extremely happy with the fact that he’s fulfilled one campaign promise – the eradication of polio.
In his words and I quote ”I would not bequeath a polio-endemic country to my successor”.
The President said the certification is a personal fulfillment of that pledge, not only to Nigerians but to all Africans, and indeed a truly historic event.
President Buhari believes the achievement must be guarded jealously, to prevent a resurgence of the deadly disease.
He appreciates the strong partnership and collaboration in delivering this success, promising the global community that Nigeria will sustain the momentum.
This for the President, will be by leveraging on the lessons learnt from the polio eradication to strengthen health systems, especially primary healthcare and health security.