Africa’s Regional Certification Committee of the World Health Organization (WHO) has accepted Nigeria’s claim of being Wild Polio-free.
Emeka Offor, Rotary International Polio Ambassador to Nigeria
Founder, announced this in a statement released on Saturday.
In the statement, he charged Nigerians to continue with immunization of children and surveillance advocacy in order not to relapse.
“While we rejoice, we must continue surveillance, advocacy, routine immunisation, field supervision and maintenance of personal hygiene. Notwithstanding the COVID-19 Pandemic, we must do our best to sustain the momentum and Keep Polio at Zero, as we await the regional certification of Africa in August 2020”.
SEE THE FULL STATEMENT BELOW:
CONGRATULATIONS NIGERIA FOR THIS UNCOMMON MILESTONE.
Fellow Nigerians and dear friends,
I am delighted with the great news of Nigeria’s claim of Wild Polio-free status being accepted by Africa’s Regional Certification Committee of the World Health Organization (WHO). I join millions of Nigerians in celebrating this great achievement.
For more than a century, Polio has continued to ravage the whole world. In 1988 alone, about 350,000 cases of polio were estimated in 125 countries. Today, History has been made in our Country, with this pronouncement.
In 2013, I pledged to continue the work of Polio Eradication till Nigeria and the world is Polio-free. I am happy to see that this promise is beginning to materialise. At the Sir Emeka Offor Foundation, we have made concerted efforts in partnership with Rotary International to drive public awareness campaigns, immunisation outreaches, advocacy and successful fundraising within Nigeria and abroad, for polio eradication. My Foundation has equally committed financial interventions of over 10 million USD with matching grants from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, towards this great fight.
We are grateful to His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari and the Nigerian Government for their leadership roles. We specially appreciate our great partners, Rotary International and The Rotary Foundation, the Nigeria National PolioPlus Committee, the Federal Ministry of Health, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Andrew Young Foundation, the Traditional Institution especially His Eminence, the Sultan of Sokoto; the Nigerian Rotary Family, all Health workers, volunteers and supporters of this commendable cause.
In conclusion, as the Rotary International Polio Ambassador to Nigeria, I ask that the main job starts now. While we rejoice, we must continue surveillance, advocacy, routine immunisation, field supervision and maintenance of personal hygiene. Notwithstanding the COVID-19 Pandemic, we must do our best to sustain the momentum and Keep Polio at Zero, as we await the regional certification of Africa in August 2020.
Congratulations Nigeria, the fight is almost over!
Sir Dr Emeka Offor
Rotary International Polio Ambassador to Nigeria
Founder, Sir Emeka Offor Foundation (SEOF)
[Dated 20 June 2020]