Nigeria records 2-year without polio

•Buhari, UNICEF commend stakeholders

NIGERIA will today mark two years without polio case.

This is an important milestone for the polio eradication initiative and a major step towards polio-free certification for the country in 2017.

The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) Country Representative, Jean Gough, has accordingly commended Nigeria for the feat.

Gough said “achieving a polio-free Africa will bring us closer than ever to a polio-free world,” warning that the success should not be taken for granted.

He said: “We must continue to work together with all partners, particularly with the traditional institutions at all levels, to ensure we reach every child so that we can relegate this paralysing disease to history forever.”

Nigeria will be officially declared polio-free by the World Health Organisation (WHO) after three years without a case of polio.

Communication Specialist, Media and Advocacy, UNICEF Nigeria Country Office, Mr Akin Jimoh, said “as long as polio exists anywhere, it poses a threat everywhere.”

In a statement he issued on Sunday, in Abuja, Jimoh said it was essential that Nigeria and the global community continue to vaccinate children against polio, adding that intensive efforts to vaccinate every child, particularly across Africa, Afghanistan, Pakistan and any high-risk or insecure areas are critical.

Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari who led the country’s Presidential Task Force on Polio Eradication, has congratulated stakeholders on the second anniversary of the last reported case of wild polio virus in Nigeria, vowing to ensure timely release of funds meant for the eradication of the disease.

In a statement released in Abuja on Sunday to mark the occasion, he observed that the stakeholders worked tirelessly to maintain the effort and permanently halt new polio cases in the country.