As Nigeria celebrates second anniversary of the interruption of the wild poliovirus in the country on July 24, 2016, the government continues its commitment to making Nigeria polio-free in 2017.
Nigeria is working towards getting a polio-free country certification from the World Health Organisation (WHO) to accredit its achievement of a polio-free nation.
President Muhammadu Buhari in his speech for the anniversary explains that his administration would make this a reality by continuously taking every way possible to support the ‘routine immunization and the revitalisation of primary health care system.’
The president says Nigeria is ‘cooperating with international public and private partners’ to ensure that Nigerian children do not suffer from the ‘crippling’ polio disease.
‘We will continue to do our best to ensure timely release of funds required for polio eradication programme,’ Buhari promises. He adds that, ‘The good health and well-being of Nigerian children remain an important part of our drive to national development. We have demonstrated our strong commitment in this regard with the allocation of N12.6 billion in the 2016 budget for vaccines and programmes to prevent childhood killer diseases such as polio, measles, yellow fever and others.’
President Buhari also highlights that the ‘National Health Act has made provision for universal access to basic healthcare with a focus on the poor and the vulnerable as well as the basic healthcare provisions funds to support its implementation.’ He says, ‘This government intends to improve the whole field of Medicare during our term of office.’
The Nigerian government hopes that its effort toward ending the polio disease would extend across the ‘African continent’ and ‘the face of the earth’.
WHO regulation requires that a country must have no new cases of polio virus transmission in three years to be certified polio-free.