The World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday praised the Nigerian government for its efforts to end the wild poliovirus (WPV) for which the most populous African country was once considered the most challenged by the disease.
Walter Kazadi Mulombo, the WHO country representative in Nigeria, said at an event marking three years of the last reported case in the country that the success was due to remarkable commitment at all levels, from the highest level of government to the heroic vaccinators delivering polio drops to local communities across the country.
Mulombo, however, noted the importance of continued attention and focus to keep the country polio-free, saying Nigeria’s triumph was a landmark achievement that would vastly benefit Nigerian children and children’s health around the world.
WPV is a viral disease that can lead to paralysis, limb deformities, breathing problems, or even death.
“Each year, over 270 million doses of polio vaccines were administered from greater investments, and efforts were made to reach vulnerable populations,” he said, explaining that such populations included the nomads, non-compliant, hard-to-reach, riverine populations, and those in areas affected by conflicts.
“Nigeria became the template for the Global Polio Program for innovations, best practices, and demonstration of leadership and ownership at national and sub-national levels,” he said, adding that the infrastructure and innovations that helped the country reach the poorest and most marginalized were now being used to deliver other health interventions like the COVID-19, measles, and yellow fever vaccines. Enditem