Good News Nigeria has had no new polio case in 1 year

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the last case was in the Sumaila district of Kano state, one of only six in 2014.

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Nigeria has come one step closer to being polio free as today, Friday July 24th makes it one year since the last polio case was reported in the country.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the last case was in the Sumaila district of Kano state, one of only six in 2014.

This a marked reduction from the 338 cases recorded in 2009.

Nigeria will be removed from the WHO list of polio-endemic countries in 4 to 6 weeks if samples sent for checking are found clear and surveillance data meets international standards.

However health professionals and campaigners said the fight is not over and warned about complacency, with another 2 years to go before polio-free status is achieved.

According to the executive director of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Ado Muhammad, the main aim is total eradication of the disease.

Meanwhile, several individuals and global charities like Rotary International and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have called for both Nigeria and the international community to keep up the momentum.

According to the deputy director of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Michael Galway,

"Continued leadership and domestic financing, high quality immunisation campaigns and disease surveillance will be key to achieving polio-free status"

Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan, which are the two other countries on the polio-endemic list have all faced challenges in implementing immunisation programmes.

Immunisation teams have been attacked and even killed while rumours were spread about the safety of the vaccine.

But those involved in the programme say sustained political commitment and funding, as well as support from traditional rulers and religious leaders have helped turn around Nigeria’s fortunes.

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