THE Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr. Margaret Chan, has advised Nigeria not to relent in its efforts to rid the country of polio disease.
Chan, who spoke at the opening of the 68th Session of the World Health Assembly yesterday in Geneva, Switzerland, maintained that overcoming the polio virus disease “is one initiative that must not fail”.
The WHO Director-General, according to a statement by Director, Press & Public Relations, Ministry of Health, Mrs. Ayo Adesugba, hailed the country for its ongoing efforts, which has ensured that no new cases have been reported in the last nine month.
The statement reads in part: “The WHO Director General observed that in the past nine months, Nigeria has not had any reported case of the disease and according to her ‘the situation in Nigeria looks extremely encouraging.”
She added that overcoming the polio virus disease “is one initiative that must not fail.”
Dr. Chan noted that Afghanistan and Pakistan have both made great strides despite severe challenges.
“Nigeria’s recognition by the WHO boss comes as a result of its aggressive response in tackling the Polio Virus. Its efforts have yielded success as no case of the disease has been reported in the southern part of the country for five years and with the exception of some cases in Kano and Yobe states, no polio virus infection has been reported in the past two years in the northern states.
“The nation has strengthened surveillance and routine immunisation, embarking on house-to-house campaigns to ensure that all eligible children receive the life-saving Polio vaccine. If Nigeria’s efforts are sustained, by July 2015, the country will be removed from the list of polio endemic countries by the WHO.”