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Nigeria records 'high polio population immunity'

01 February 2013, 07:52

Abuja - Nigeria polio population immunity has increased from 50 per cent to 80 per cent, Dr Ado Mohammed, the Executive Secretary of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), has said.

]Mohammed disclosed this on Thursday in an interview with State House correspondents after a meeting of stakeholders on polio eradication with President Goodluck Jonathan at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He said the latest analysis by the World Health Organisation (WHO) showed the increase in the country’s polio population immunity.

"We shared with the President, the global goal analysis done by WHO which showed that population immunity has increased in Nigeria from about 50 per cent to 80 per cent.

"What this means is that even if the polio virus finds itself in any particular location in the country, it may not be able to paralyse the affected child.

"Even when it paralyzes the child, other children in that particular area will be secured; this is because population immunity has improved," Mohammed said.

He noted that the country had not recorded any case of polio virus in the last two months.

Mohammed said that another survey carried out by WHO adjudged Nigeria to be the next country after India ``that will exit as a polio endemic nation’’.

He gave assurance that Jonathan’s promise to eradicate polio from the country by 2015 would be kept.

"We are fortifying our borders to ensure we do not export polio virus and we do not allow anyone to bring the virus into the country.

"So far, we have established 36 border immunisation posts across the states in the Northern part of the country," the executive secretary said.

He said that any child below age five coming into Nigeria must be stopped and immunised before being allowed entry.

"Similarly, any child leaving Nigeria must be vaccinated before crossing into neighbouring countries.

"We are doing that in collaboration with the Nigeria Immigration Service and the Nigerian Customs Service," he said.

Mohammed said the closed door meeting was to brief the President on the efforts being made by the country to eradicate polio.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting was attended by some state governors, development partners, religious leaders, traditional rulers and members of the Presidential Task Force on Polio Eradication.

- NAN

Tags health polio
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