Polio will soon be eradicated – Sambo assures

Vice President Namadi Sambo on Thursday assured that with the efforts and resources being committed to the fight against the wild polio virus, it would soon be eradicated in the country; the same way the Ebola Virus Disease was defeated in no time.

A statement by his spokesman, Umar Sani, quoted Sambo as stating this while presiding over a meeting of Presidential Task Force on Polio Eradication at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He said his conviction that the virus would soon be completely eradicated was based on the impressive gains recorded so far in that regards.

He promised that government was ready to do more to ensure the success of the campaign.

“Government will continue to give political support, ensure sustained funding of the programame, procurement of the polio vaccines and support the introduction of other new vaccines and work with the traditional, religious leaders, development partners and other community based organizations, to ensure that  no polio case is recorded in Nigeria,” he promised.

The Vice President commended the Commissioners of Health in various states, local government chairmen, traditional rulers, especially the commitment of the Sultan of Sokoto and the Shehu of Barma as demonstrated through the Northern Traditional Leaders Committee on Primary Health Care.

He also noted that supports partners such as the Aliko Dangote Foundation, Bill and Melinda Gate Foundation, the World Health Organisation and others for their unwavering support towards eradication of the virus.

Sambo expressed delight that in the last two years, no new case of the virus has been recorded and 88 per cent has been achieved in 2014 compared to 27 local governments in 2013.

He also noted that the country had improved this year as compared to other parts of the world where polio is the problem.

Although he noted that the task is enormous, the Vice President urged all stakeholders to continue to work collectively in order to achieve result especially in the areas where there is security challenge and other risk factors.

He also urged them to ensure success in the eradication of other diseases such as measles, whooping cough and diarrhea.

Earlier, the Supervising Minister of State for Health, Dr. Khaliru Alhassan, gave update on the success of the programme and challenges, stressing that the “Wild Polio Virus is now confined to only five LGAs compared to the more generalized situation of the past…today, we have six cases of Wild Polio Virus in Nigeria. In the last one year, 96% of the 774 local government areas have been polio free, while 35% out of 37 or 95% states have been without polio in the last one year.”

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