OFFICIAL: Nigeria de-listed as polio endemic country

poli freeBy AUGUSTINE OSAYANDE
ABUJA, (CAJ News) – PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has reiterated the federal government’s commitment towards the achievement of a polio-free Nigeria in 2017.

He stated this during an event to mark the delisting of Nigeria as a polio endemic country on Monday at the Presidential Villa Abuja.

His government will sustain the needed funding for operations and vaccine procurement for the programme. Also, the Presidential Taskforce on Polio Eradication will be reconstituted under the leadership of the Federal Ministry of Health to provide political direction and over sighting order to avoid complacency and relapse.

The President commended the support of traditional and religious leaders who have contributed immensely to the polio eradication efforts.

He also thanked development partners and a host of others who contributed financially and materially to the over-all efforts.

Buhari said the National Health Act has made provision for universal access to basic healthcare with a focus on the poor and the vulnerable as well as the basic healthcare provision funds to support its implementation.

“I have already instructed the Federal Ministry of Finance to provide for the basic healthcare provision fund under the 2016 Budget Appropriation. We are also working on a revised National Health Policy which would have
the achievement of Universal Health Coverage as its main ultimate goal,” Buhari added.

Buhari said his administration is addressing the significant morbidity and mortality rates caused by neglected tropical diseases.

“These diseases disproportionately affect the poor and the vulnerable and as such are major concerns of this Administration. We shall ensure that these diseases are no longer neglected,” Buhari said.

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced on September 25 that Nigeria WASnow polio-free and has been officially removed from the list of countries where polio is endemic.

IT has been 14 months since any cases of polio caused by the wild virus have been detected there.

CAJ News

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