Nigeria Marks Two Years Without Polio, Bringing Africa Closer to Polio-free Certification in 2017


Kasim Sumaina in Abuja

Nigeria will, on 24th of July, 2016, mark two years without a case of polio. This is an important milestone for the polio eradication initiative and a major step towards polio-free certification for the country in 2017.

When Nigeria has achieved three years without a case of polio, it will be certified polio-free, according to a press release made available to journalists in Abuja by the Chief of Communication, UNICEF, Doune Porter

Marking the feat, President Muhammadu Buhari, who leads the country’s Presidential Task Force on Polio Eradication, noted: “This is a historic moment that has brought Africa and the world the closest it has ever been to eradicating this devastating disease. But our job is not yet done.”

According to him, “We must protect the gains we have made and stay on course to tackle the challenges that remain in eliminating polio for good.” He added that the Federal Government will “continue to provide the needed oversight and resources to achieve polio eradication in 2017.”

Speaking in similar vein, Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Folorunso Adewole, assured that the Federal Government is committed to building resilience by “getting people out of their comfort zones to further enhance the quality of polio campaigns, reach children in difficult areas and continue to improve routine immunization.”