Prof. Babatunde Salako, the Director-General (D-G)of the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), on Friday said that the country should not relent in its efforts to sustain its polio-free status.
Salako said, ” Whatever we have been doing that brought us here, we should continue to do.”
The News Agency of Nigerian reports that the World Health Organisation (WHO) on June 19, declared Nigeria free of wild polio, following the completion of documentation for the free status.
According to WHO, in 2012, Nigeria accounted for more than half of all polio cases worldwide.
Poliomyelitis is a debilitating infectious disease caused by the polio virus, which affects children under five years of age.
The disease presents in muscle weakness, resulting in inability to move. It leads to irreversible paralysis in most of the victims.
The D-G also commended the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) that is in charge of efforts to eradicate polio in the country for doing a lot in its mandate area.
“They have been creating significant awareness at the grassroots in terms of Polio immunisation and they concentrated more in areas where Polio virus were largely discovered at the time.
“All this effort should be sustain and if they are able to do that, we will continue to be polio free, ‘ he said.
He added that all the necessary resources needed to maintain the polio-free status should be made available to the relevant bodies to carry out their duties effectively.
NAN reports that Nigeria has not reported a case of wild polio virus since 24 July 2014, and all laboratory data have confirmed that 12 months have passed without any new cases reported.
Edited By: Bola Akingbehin/Peter Dada (NAN)
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