Countdown to polio-free Nigeria
Nigeria has a year and three months left before it will be fully certified polio-free by the World Health Organisation (WHO), after experiencing the last case of the disease 21 months ago, precisely on July 24, 2014. Until then, the country has been urged to uphold the present status and kick out polio completely out of Nigeria.
This was made known by the chairman, Nigeria National Polio Plus Committee of Rotary International, Dr. Tunji Funsho, who reiterated Rotary International’s commitment towards extermination of the virus in Nigeria and across the remaining countries of Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.
He added that Rotary International would continue to partner with political, traditional and religious leaders in the campaign to ensure every child below the age of five is immunized against polio.
Funsho also commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his concern in making Nigeria a polio-free country with his administration’s commitment of $90 million to support Rotary International’s initiative, which has been included in this year’s budget, as against the $50 million received last year.
“President Buhari personally immunized his granddaughter and also took the campaign to Daura, his hometown to show those that have been critical of getting their children immunized for one reason or the other, that there was no cause for fear, a feat that has gone a long way to make the work easier.
“This gesture was also appreciated by UNICEF that made a badge with the picture of President Buhari immunizing his grand daughter to take to those homes that had been feeling reluctant to get their children immunized.
“He has also co-opted the state governors into the war against polio instead of just the concerned ministers like the Minister of Health and Women Affairs among others, and has directed that what is being done at the central level translates at the state level with the state governors involving the local government chairmen, which to us is a great boost.”