The Senate President, Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has congratulated Nigerians for maintaining a 365-day poliomyelitis (polio) free in the country. Saraki said the successes recorded in Nigeria in polio eradication in the past 365 days without a single case of the virus was as a result of the relentless hard work of partners, religious, community leaders, and health workers.
He expressed his elation at Nigeria’s successes in polio eradication that has a case study of 801 wide cases of polio reported in 21 states in 2005 with 62 wild cases and 34 circulating vaccine-derived cases (cVDPV) that had an endemic transmission rate in 2011 coupled with 122 wild cases and eight circulating vaccine-derived cases.
The Senate President further expressed his happiness in the containment of polio in the country because the transmission rate in 2012 was endemic with reported 53 wild cases and three circulating vaccine-derived cases, which were recorded as transmission endemic in 2013 to now having no documented case of poliomyelitis in 365 days.
Saraki disclosed how he undertook a bipartisan approach as the former Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) by leading his colleagues, public-spirited groups and companies in the private sector to partner with the Federal Government and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to develop a better and more extensive polio immunisation in Nigeria.
He credited the successes recorded in the eradication of the virus to the introduction of the immunisation leadership challenge. He explained that the challenge, which was designed in partnership with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to reward states in Nigeria that made significant improvements in polio and routine immunisation coverage was to fast track achievement of the global milestone of interrupting further transmission of polio virus in Nigeria.
-Teddy Nwanunobi, Abuja