The Senate on Wednesday, urged the Ministry of Health, to adopt guidelines and other measures to prevent the transmission of polio into the country by foreign bodies or Nigerian travellers.
The call which was sequel to a Point of Order by Sen. Chukwuka Utazi, during plenary was against the backdrop of Nigeria’s polio-free status as declared by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the WHO had on June 19 declared Nigeria free of wild polio, following the completion of documentation for the free status.
“Nigeria’s complete documentation for Wild Polio virus free status was accepted by the Africa Regional Certification Commission for polio eradication (ARCC).”
The Senate also urged government at all levels and their relevant ministries and agencies, traditional rulers, parents, heads of religious bodies and development partners to sustain immunisation of all infants and children of immunisation age to forestall reversal of this success.
Utazi who is the Chairman Senate Committee on Primary Health and Communicable Diseases, said, “while we were on break for two weeks, the WHO declared we are polio free.
“Mr president, we have been working very hard to ensure that some of this endemic diseases that have been plaguing the third world countries especially Nigeria here, that we are free from that and we achieved the feat.
“I remember that late 2019, I was part of the delegation that met development partners and the WHO in London where we went to canvass the issue of this country that we are actually working very hard to get away from polio and today the WHO has done that.
“This Senate notes with a great sense of pride and felicitation the recent declaration of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a polio free nation by the WHO.”
He further said that attainment of polio virus-free status by Nigeria was historic not only for Nigeria but for the entire continent of Africa considering the contagious nature of the virus.
“This achievement also serves as a major boost to the realisation of the goal of eradicating polio globally.”
The lawmaker also called for the need to commemorate the attainment of polio virus-free status by the government and the people of Nigeria in order to bring attention to this landmark achievement.
“And to particularly urge all health authorities at all levels of government in Nigeria and other stakeholders to sustain the vaccination of of our children even though we are now free from the wild polio virus”.
In his remark, President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan congratulated the Federal Government on the feat.
Edited By: Bola Akingbehin/Sadiya Hamza (NAN)
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