By Ankeli Emmanuel
No child in Sokoto and the country at large deserves to be crippled or suffer from diseases or their complications for which vaccines are readily available, free and effective, World Health Organization (WHO) has said.
Speaking in a remark on behalf of Partners, Dr. Fiona Braka, the EPEI Team Leader of WHO said, Nigeria is at a critical stage of the polio eradication programme.
According to Dr. Fiona, while Nigeria has recorded significant progress in keeping polio abay, the insurgency in North East seems to have impeded on the successes recorded following a re-insurgence in that area.
“Remarkable progress has been made in Nigeria in reducing the number of wild polio virus cases over the past decade fro as high as 796 cases in 2008 to 0 in 2015.
“The re-emergence of wild polio virus cases in July 2016 in north eastern Nigeria, after a silent period of close to two years, provided lessons for Nigeria and the global programme about capacity of the virus to sustain circulation for years in areas of poor coverage and sub-optimal surveillance”,
Dr. Fiona who decried that, there is a very low level of immunization coverage in Sokoto state, said, the state has 7 of the recorded 11 vaccines derived polio viruses in Nigeria in 2017.
“WHO and it’s Global Polio Eradication Initiative partners remain firmly committed to support Sokoto state and the Government of Nigeria in revitalizing the immunization program. The Federal Government has declared routine immunization a national emergency and we stand fully behind you to provide the necessary support to meet our joint aspiration of a better health for the children mad people of Nigeria”, Dr. Fiona assured.
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By Ankeli Emmanuel