New York - Nigeria and Africa's achievements in the fight against polio is a testament to the power of global partnership and concerted leadership, UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon has said.
Ban made the remark on Saturday at a polio eradication event in Valletta, Malta, on the side-lines of the 53rd meeting of Commonwealth leaders.
In a copy of his remark made available to UN correspondents in New York, Ki-Moon said: "I have witnessed the progress myself."
"In August, I visited Nigeria and for the first time in history, Nigeria and the African continent reported a full year without one case of polio."
"These and other achievements are testaments to the power of global partnership and concerted leadership."
"They are tribute to millions of dedicated health workers on the front lines. We must stay vigilant," he said.
The UN scribe said that states needed the full engagement of all sectors of society to eradicate the disease.
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He urged warring parties in conflict zones to allow safe passage for health workers to access and vaccinate children against polio.
"We know when children are protected from polio; they are better protected against all diseases."
"My thanks to all the Commonwealth leaders here for their resolve; together let us make the final push and wipe out polio forever."
"With your support, I know we will succeed," he said.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) announced on September 2, that Nigeria was polio-free and had been officially removed from the list of polio endemic countries.
With Nigeria’s historic achievement, the UN organisation said polio remains endemic in only two countries: Afghanistan and Pakistan.