As Nigeria celebrates three years without the detection of a Wild Polio Virus case, health authorities say the country is on its way to finally being awarded polio-free certification.
No case of the virus has been detected in Nigeria since August 2016. If the situation remains by March 2020, Nigeria may be certified polio-free.
Poliomyelitis 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.
Nigeria, Pakistan, and Afghanistan are the three countries yet to be certified polio-free.
Speaking at the World Press Conference on “Three years without Wild Polio Virus case in Nigeria”, in Abuja this Wednesday, the Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Faisal Shuaib, said Nigeria has commenced the process for its certification as a polio-free country.
Mr Shuaib said though there was a major setback in 2016, following the discovery of a new case in Borno state, the country is determined to be certified polio-free by 2020.
In her remarks, the UNICEF Country Representative, Pernille Ironside, said UNICEF is pleased with the achievement of three years without wild poliovirus.
Ms Ironside, however, warned that the battle is not over yet and that efforts need to be maintained.
The Country Director, US Centre for Disease Control (CDC), Mahesh Swaminathan, congratulates Nigeria on the milestone.
He, however, said the reward for a good job done is more work to be done to ensure Nigeria is certified polio-free by 2020.
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