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WHO certifies Nigeria free of polio

By NewsDesk, with Agency reports


The World Health Organisation (WHO) has certified Nigeria free of wild polio after years of battling with the virus which had claimed several thousands of lives in the country.

It explained that the certification followed the nation’s documentation protocols before the global health agency which had now been completed, thus the declaration of free status for the country.

WHO noted that after the complete documentation, the country’s free-status was accepted by its agency saddled with certifying African countries, the Africa Regional Certification Commission for polio eradication (ARCC).

The global body disclosed this on Thursday through its regional office for Africa in Brazzaville, Congo, official social media page.

“Today, Nigeria’s complete documentation for Wild Polio virus-free status was accepted by the Africa Regional Certification Commission for polio eradication (ARCC). “It is a historic day for Nigeria, Africa, and the Global Polio Programme,’’ WHO said.

Reacting to the declaration, the Executive Director and CEO of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuaib, described the documentation as historical.

He lauded the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government, Chairman of Dango Groups, Mr. Aliko Dangote, and Mr. Bill Gates.

“Amazing moment in history to have had our polio-eradication documentation accepted by (ARCC); the Nigeria team led by NPHCDA and partners demonstrated evidence of our polio-free status.

“Nigeria achieving a Wild Polio Virus-free status today, is significant on multiple fronts. I look back at the incredible leadership that has brought us here.

“Apart from President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, the two most important people who have made it possible due to their financial and technological contributions have been Mr. Aliko Dangote and Mr. Bill Gates. “Thanks for this unquantifiable gift to Nigeria,’’ he wrote

Recall that as recently as 2012, Nigeria accounted for more than half of all polio cases worldwide, but the country made significant strides, recently marking 2 years without a case on 24 July 2016 before its final certification came four years later.

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