The World Health Organization has declared that Nigerian is now free from polio, noting that the devastating disease is no longer endemic in the country, The Ravens can report.
The disease which has a long history in the world has held Nigeria hostage for so long. Findings by The Ravens show that as of 2012, Nigeria accounted for more than half of all polio cases worldwide.
However, all seems to be rosy as the WHO has declared Nigeria free from the endemic that has been dealing devastating blows to children in the nooks and crannies of the West African country.
According to the WHO in a statement, “Nigeria has made remarkable progress against polio, but continued vigilance is needed to protect these gains and ensure that polio does not return. Nigeria has not reported a case of wild poliovirus since 24 July 2014, and all laboratory data has confirmed that a full 12 months have passed without any new cases.
“Since 1988, the incidence of polio has been reduced by more than 99 per cent. At the time, more than 350,000 children were paralysed every year, in more than 125 endemic countries. Today, two countries remain which have never stopped endemic transmission of polio: Pakistan and Afghanistan, where there have been in 2015, 41 cases reported (32 in Pakistan, 9 in Afghanistan).
“The outstanding commitment and efforts that got Nigeria off the endemic list must continue, to keep Africa polio-free. We must now support the efforts in Pakistan and Afghanistan, so they soon join the polio-free world”, said WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan.
The health organization also charged Nigeria and other African countries not to drop the ball in the fight against polio, saying that immunization and surveillance activities must continue rapidly to nip a re-emergence of the virus in the bud.
“Immunization and surveillance activities must continue to rapidly detect a potential re-introduction or re-emergence of the virus. It is only after three years have passed without a case of wild poliovirus on the African continent will an official ”certification” of polio eradication be conducted at the regional level in Africa.