By Aishat Salihu
The Executive Director/CEO of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr Faisal Shuaib, on Wednesday said Nigeria had begun the process of documentation towards the final stages of being declared a polio-free society, saying that by June 2020, the country could achieve the status.
Shuaib revealed this at an event held in Abuja to celebrate three years without a case of Wild Polio Virus in Nigeria while noting that the last case of polio was recorded in Borno State on August 22, 2016.
He further stated that the success must be attributed to the commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari, who in 2016 released the sum of N9.8bn to fight a resurgence of the WPV executed by the agency.
The NPHCDA boss added that many health workers paid a price while fighting polio, with some sustaining various degrees of injuries as they remain heroes of the fight against the disease.
According to him, the surveillance system and deployed innovative strategies to reach children, especially in the inaccessible areas of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states by the agency with help from the Buhari led administration was responsible for the milestone achieved.
He also added that the efforts made to arrive at the feat included that of international border vaccination, local transit vaccination, and vaccination at camps for Internally Displaced Persons.
He, however, said that the fight was not over, calling on political leaders at all levels to continue to provide the needed oversight and financial support for immunisation while also urging traditional and religious leaders to sustain the mobilisation of the people to accept vaccination for their children.