Abuja - The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has congratulated Nigerians for preventing the spread of polio in the past year.
He 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.
The Senate President was pleased with the successes in Polio eradication from reported cases of 801 in 21 states in 2005 and 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 8 circulating vaccine-derived cases.
He 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 credited the successes recorded in the eradication of the virus to the introduction of the Immunization Leadership Challenge.
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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 immunization coverage, was to fast track achievement of the global milestone of interrupting further transmission of polio virus in Nigeria.
The Senate President urged Nigerians not to relent in this fight against polio.
The disease has been responsible for significant number of mortality and morbidity mostly, in children under years of age.
"As long as a single child remains infected, children in all countries are at risk of contracting the virus," Saraki said.
He emphasised the imperative need to continue the good work towards eliminating this crippling and potentially fatal virus until the World Health Organization (WHO) certified Nigeria as polio-free in 2017.
This will take Nigeria off the list of countries where the disease is endemic.
- CAJ News