The Federal government on Wednesday marked three years without a case of Wild Polio Virus (WPV) in the country and expressed confidence that by March 2020, would certify Nigeria as polio-free.
The Executive Director/CEO of National Primary Health Care Development Agency Dr Faisal Shuaib said three years without a case of Wild Polio Virus is a historic milestone for the polio eradication programme in Nigeria and the global community.
Poliomyelitis (polio) is a highly infectious viral disease, which mainly affects young children. The virus is transmitted by person-to-person spread mainly through the faecal-oral route or, through contaminated water or food and multiplies in the intestine, from where it can invade the nervous system and can cause paralysis.
Dr. Faisal explained that in the last three years, not a single child has been reported with paralysis due to wild polio virus. Consequently, Nigeria has commenced the process of documentation towards the final certification by the Africa Regional Certification Commission (ARCC).
He said the documentation process involves a detailed assemblage and review of surveillance, routine immunization (RI) and Supplemental Immunization Activities (SIAs) data by the National Certification Committee before submission of the final documentation to ARCC in March, 2020. He added that if ARCC is satisfied with the country’s documentation, Nigeria will be certified Wild Polio Virus-free.
According to him, completely eradicating all types of polio virus will be one of the greatest achievements in human history that will have a lasting, positive impact on the African continent.