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Published On: Sun, Jan 25th, 2015

Nigeria achieves 88 percent reduction in polio

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By Doyin Ojosipe

Nigeria again celebrates successes recorded in the war against the polio virus in the year 2014 as reports reveal an 88 % reduction of the Wild Polio Virus Type 1 (WPV1) burden and 78% reduction in geographic spread of the virus.

This is even as the Wild Polio Virus Type 3 (WPV3) has not been reported in Nigeria for the past 23 months, while the genetic clusters circulating in Nigeria have also declined from 8 in 2013 to 1 in 2014 representing an 88% reduction.

Nigeria had suffered a setback in 2004, when campaigns against polio were stopped in the north, due to some religious conception; by this, the measure of success recorded was rubbished as the disease had spread like wild fire at the end of the eleven month period of the resistance. Many children were again paralyzed while in 2013, about 10 polio vaccine officials were gunned down by unknown gun men.

The incessant attacks in the north had also aroused the fear that war against Poliomyelitis may not be won as polio vaccine workers have not been left to freely do their work.

In a statement issued yesterday by the ministry of health, Nigeria was able to achieve the giant strides by meticulously launching and executing aggressive programs to tackle the virus.

Meanwhile, African leaders are set to meet for the 24th African Union Summit in order to celebrate the success achieved in Polio eradication efforts In Africa.

The two days summit which is to hold in the capital of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa;30 to 31st of January 2015, is to also discuss on how to make more progress as African leaders make commitments on achieving a polio free African continent.

This just as Gwadabawa and Illela local governments in Sokoto State plan to immunise 210,000 children of five years and below during the four-day January 2015 polio immunsation which commenced on Saturday.

In Gwadabawa, the Chairman of the caretaker committee, Alhaji Aminu Aya, said the state government had provided adequate vaccines to cover 112,000 children.

Aya told a non-governmental organization, Journalists Against Polio, in Gwadabawa that the local government had also earmarked N1.2 million to provide logistics support.


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