Nigeria will eradicate polio soon, says Director

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Dr Ado Muhammad, Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development AgencyThe Federal Government said on Wednesday that it had taken adequate measures to ensure that Wild Polio Virus (WPV) was eradicated in the country before the end of 2014.

Dr Ado Muhammad, Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, said this in an interview with News men in Abuja.

He said compared to Afghanistan and Pakistan, the two other polio-endemic countries, Nigeria was likely the next to exit the list of polio endemic countries.

“There is progress in polio eradication; this progress is because of support from stakeholders, including governors, traditional leaders, local government chairmen, journalists, religious leaders and others.

“The progress we made has resulted in almost the eradication of wild polio virus in Nigeria, this year.

“We have just one case this year and when you compare this with other countries, Nigeria is doing better than other polio- endemic countries.

“Nigeria is going to be picked, most likely, as the best country to exit polio-endemic countries’ list after India. I think this is good news and we should celebrate it’’, he said.

Muhammad said President Goodluck Jonathan had given support for polio eradication by personally leading the war against it.

He said due to innovations carried out by the agency, the country’s routine immunisation coverage had increased from 57 per cent in the last two years to 84 per cent in 2014.

Muhammad commended the efforts of the governors, traditional and religious leaders, local government chairmen, media and all stakeholders in containing polio virus in the country.

“This is the best performance the agency has recorded in terms of polio eradication and in terms of routine immunisation in the country’’, he said.

He said the country had not recorded any case of type-three wild polio virus infection in the last 14 months