The World health organization is set to officially declare Nigeria to have eradicated polio haven gone for more than three years without a single case of the disease.
The road to eradicating this child killer disease has been long and difficult.
After carrying a pregnancy for nine months, birthing and nursing a healthy child then all of a sudden the child is stricken by an incurable disease and the child’s live is forever changed.
Yes, it was a global disease but children in northern Nigeria suffered more.
In 2012, Nigeria accounted for half of that year’s global cases. From Katsina to Kaduna, Sokoto to Maiduguri; Polio has broken more lives than can be counted and the tears it has caused are yet to stop flowing.
Thankfully, Nigeria can celebrate that polio itself has been stopped, but the road to eradicating polio was rough.
The journey brought together partners from across the globe. A lot of money was spent, countless hours of labour and untold sacrifices. It was achieved with the sweat, tears and blood of thousands.
Now, Nigeria is in a celebratory mode with the official declaration that the country has conquered polio.
But health workers are calling for caution, they do not want the country to get too comfortable yet. and called for increased effort at vaccinating children. After all, dozens of other child killer diseases are still out there.
Although it is okay to take a moment to celebrate eradicating polio in Nigeria, it is clear that the victory is coming late as so many lives have been irreparably changed.
Other vaccine preventable diseases such as measles and tetanus must also be eradicated. Nigeria must end the needless, preventable death of children.