WHO satisfied with Nigeria’s polio eradication claim –PHCDA

The National Primary Health Care Development Agency on Sunday said the World Health Organisation team that visited Nigeria to verify the nation’s claim of having eradicated polio was satisfied with what they saw after visiting some states in the country.

During the first phase of the assessment, the team visited Lagos, Oyo, Abia, Ebonyi, Delta and Edo states.

It will return in the first quarter of 2020 for the second and final visit.

The team’s recommendation will influence WHO’s decision on whether to grant Nigeria the certification of being a polio-free country or not.

During an event held to celebrate three years without a case of wild polio virus in Nigeria on August 21, 2019, the Executive Director of the NPHCDA, Dr Faisal Shuaib, said Nigeria had started the process of documentation towards the final stages of being declared a polio-free nation.

He said by June 2020, the country could achieve the polio-free status.

Shuaib said the last case of polio was recorded in Borno State on August 22, 2016.

In an exclusive interview with our correspondent, NPHCDA Incident Manager, National Polio Emergency Operation Centre, Dr Usman Adamu, said during the first phase of the WHO’s Africa Regional Commission for Certification of Poliomyelitis Eradication visitation, the team conducted physical examination of Nigeria’s claim which was contained in the document submitted on polio eradication.

He said, “Generally, the Africa Regional Commission for Certification of Poliomyelitis Eradication came to Nigeria to assess our documentation. If the country has spent three years without a case of wild polio virus from any part of the country, it means that the country is eligible to submit its final documentation.

“Final documentation means a robust document that details what the country has done and what efforts the government, stakeholders and development partners have done jointly to ensure total eradication of polio from Nigeria. That document will describe the sensitivity of our surveillance system and the current drive of the NPHCDA in ensuring quality immunisation.
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