Posted by News Express | 30 August 2020 | 744 times
President Muhammadu Buhari has urged World leaders not to relent until the Wild Polio Virus is kicked out.
He made the appeal at an event organised by Rotary International to celebrate Africa Polio Free Certification, in Abuja.
The President also said that as Nigeria celebrates, it realises that it cannot be truly free of the polio virus, when it is still being transmitted in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and as the circulating vaccine derived polio virus, still lurks around parts of Africa.
“Not to put the precious gains we have made at risk, we must not rest on our oars. We cannot afford to. I also use this opportunity therefore, to urge the GPEI not to relent, until the entire world is rid of the virus.
”We, in Nigeria, shall channel our energy towards maintaining our hard earned status, by strengthening our Primary Healthcare system and the inbuilt routine immunization strategy, using various data and technology driven tools. Having kicked polio out of Nigeria, we must now keep polio out of Nigeria. We shall also deploy the valuable material and human resource for Health assets that have been built up over the decades of fighting polio, towards the goal of supporting the prevention of other disease patterns strengthening our health system, as we are currently doing with the covid-19 pandemic response,’‘President Buhari said.
According to him, Nigeria’s certification is the result of the collective efforts of many devoted and enthusiastic individuals and organisations who believed in the vision of a polio-free Nigeria and went over and beyond the ordinary, to add value to the ideal.
“It is a good example of what we can achieve collectively as a people, when we work together.
”This achievement could not have been possible without the participation of certain parties: Development Partners, who mostly brought technical support and guidance, Sponsors and Donors, who brought financial support, Traditional, Religious and Community leaders, who brought moral and social support and not the least, Partners like the Rotary International, who helped to set the goal and direct the course. There are of course, the thousands of National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) staff and frontline health workers, who were the foot soldiers of the project,” President Buhari said.
The president also commended global partners who drove the process to success.
On his part, the Rotary International President, Holger Knaack, commended African leaders for the steadfast commitment to eradicate polio in continent.
“This part hasn’t been easy there’s still work to be done before we can fulfill our promise of a polio free world. But you have helped achieve something remarkable in the African region,“ Knaack said.
Also speaking, the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum, Dr Kayode Fayemi, said that the forum would continue to sustain its collaborations to keep polio at Zero in Nigeria.
Similarly, the Rotary International Nigeria National Polio Plus Committee Chairman, Mr Tunji Funsho, said the journey to a Polio Free Africa did not come cheap.
The Executive Director of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, said that the agency would sustain a wild free Nigeria through intense immunisation.
In his good will message, the WHO Representative Dr. Walter Kazadi, congratulated Nigeria and the entire African Continent on the declaration of wild polio virus free certification that was announced on 25 August 2020.
“This is a massive public health achievement, that was made possible due to the leadership and commitment of governments, global polio partners, traditional and religious institutions, frontline health workers and vaccinators. It is a moment to celebrate the many individuals that worked tirelessly to make this milestone possible.
”The certification demonstrates what Nigeria and other African countries can accomplish when goals are backed by strong political commitment.
”Nigeria’s battle with wild polio has been long and complex. I therefore commend the Government of Nigeria for the steadfast commitment in leading a massive national effort over the past couple of decades,“ Kazadi said.
The highpoint of the event was award presentation to individuals and organisations who took part in the effort to eradicate polio in Nigeria and Africa. (VON)
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