Hopefully, with no new cases being reported for the following two years, officially, Nigeria will be declared free of Polio.
The President, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, on Saturday, expressed delight over the announcement, which followed the absence of any case of the virus in Nigeria since July 24, 2014. Polio is easily prevented through vaccination, but there is no cure. Change in leadership and aggressive door-to-door vaccination sessions made it all happen, but of course, unless we eradicate the disease entirely, it can always have a chance to infect.
WHO stresses the need of eradicating polio and once that is done, it will be the greatest achievements in human history leaving a huge positive impact on global health for generations to come. The country also had to deal with rumors that the vaccine causes infertility prompting parents particularly in the Muslim-majority north to refuse to have their children immunized.
In a statement released Friday, World Health Organization announced Nigeria had successfully stopped the transmission of polio in the country.
Several similar vaccine-derived cases have been recorded in Madagascar and Nigeria since August a year ago, while there were also two cases in Ukraine. Community and religious leaders voiced their support.
World Health Organization is part of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, which includes national governments, the non-profit Rotary worldwide, the CDC, UNICEF, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Past year the number was 182.
Nine polio vaccinators in northern Nigeria were gunned down and killed in 2013 by men who drove up on motorcycles, a disturbing echo of the murder of polio workers in Pakistan.
By the time a child is diagnosed with polio, the virus is often widespread, Frieden said, noting that there can be 1,000 infections for every one child who is paralyzed.
Similar issues have been faced by health workers in Pakistan and Afghanistan.