Lagos - Minister of Health, Dr Khaliru Alhassan, dismissed media reports querying progress government had recorded in averting polio.
The minister, through a statement the office issued, said contrary to the report, Nigeria was well positioned to interrupt the transmission of the virus.
“The attention of the Supervising Minister and Honourable Minister of State for Health, Dr Khaliru Alhassan, has been drawn to the publication in the Punch Newspaper of February 26, 2015 captioned ‘Expert Dismisses President Jonathan’s Claim on Polio’,” read the statement.
“This expert opinion is attributed to Dr Tunji Funsho, Chairman, Nigeria National Polio Plus Committee, a sub-committee of Rotary International. However, we want to believe that he was quoted out of context and Dr. Funsho did not impinge on the polio efforts of Government.”
In addition, the article did not make reference to the unprecedented progress on polio eradication by the administration of Dr Goodluck Jonathan, President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Health Minister noted.
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According to the Minister, Nigeria has recorded giant strides in its polio efforts and there is no gainsaying the fact that Nigeria has the capacity to eradicate polio, as no case of the disease has been reported in the southern part of the country for five years and with the exception of some cases in Kano and Yobe States, no polio virus infection has been reported in the past two years in the Northern states.
It is also pertinent to note, said the minister, that for seven months now, Nigeria has not recorded any case of polio in any part of the federation.
“This implies that the country has been polio transmission free in the last seven months. This great feat is being recorded for the first time in the history of our nation. If this is sustained for the next five months, the country will be removed from the list of polio endemic countries by July 2015 in accordance with WHO guidelines,” read a statement.
“Consequently, the global community recognizes Government efforts and favours Nigeria as the country that will achieve the goal of polio eradication by 2018 among the presently endemic countries.
The present administration is committed to putting all efforts in place to ensure that our nation is polio free."
- CAJ News