The Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuaib, has revealed that Nigeria will begin filing documentation towards the final certification to declare her polio free.
This is coming three years after a case of Wild Polio Virus (WPV) was detected in the North-East of the West African country.
Shuaib, who said this in Abuja on Wednesday, noted that the country will submit a final country data for evaluation in 2020 to be reviewed by the Africa Regional Certification Commission (ARCC), adding that if there are no new wild polio cases, the country will be certified polio free.
According to him, “Today marks the third year of being polio free since the last outbreak of the virus in the North-East of Borno State.
“This opens up a potential for the entire WHO AFRO region to receive wild polio-free certification as soon as mid-2020, leaving only one region out of six around the world; the Eastern Mediterranean region, where wild polio exists”.
He further stated that Nigeria is the last polio-endemic country in Africa and if data confirms zero cases, by 2020, the country will be certified polio free.
“Since the last outbreak of wild polio in 2016 in the northeast, the country has worked to strengthen supplementary immunization activities and routine immunization, and has used innovative strategies to vaccinate hard-to-reach children, and improve the surveillance activities used to track the virus and find potential”, he ended.