Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated Nigerians on the country is declared Polio Virus free.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) had on Thursday declared Nigeria polio free, leaving the devastating disease endemic in only two countries of the world; Afghanistan and Pakistan.
In a tweet to announce the feat, the WHO Nigeria @WHONigeria, said the country had completed documentation for wild polio virus free status, and that the documentation has been accepted by the African Regional Certification Commission for polio eradication.
According to a statement by Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, Buhari while appreciating all partners, local and international, for their relentless efforts in ensuring the clean health bill, hailed the resilient spirit of Nigerians, particularly the capacity of hardworking men and women in the health industry, who drew resources and support from multiple sectors to deal a final blow to the deadly virus.
“This achievement is not only one of the great successes of this generation of Nigerians but also one of the obvious dividends of this administration, which is consistent with our progressive investment in the health of our people since 2015.
“This landmark achievement is also a promise kept to all Nigerians. As you will recall that in August 2015, barely three months after we assumed office, I promised Nigerians that: ‘My government shall provide the necessary resources and commitment required to strengthen the health system, routine immunization and ensure the country is certified Polio free.”
The President noted that in 2016 the country suffered a major setback in the polio eradication efforts with the outbreak of the Wild Polio Virus in Borno State, after about two years without any case, and he promptly directed the immediate release of N9.8billion to the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) to contain the outbreak.