WHO, Rotary International congratulate Nigeria on Polio-free status

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has congratulated Nigeria for the Wild polio-free status accepted by Africa Regional Certification Commission for polio eradication (ARCC).

ARCC had on Thursday accepted Nigeria complete documentation for Wild Polio virus free status.

The UN health agency in a congratulation message posted on its regional office for Africa in Brazzaville, Congo, official twitter account @WHOAFRO also congratulated three other Africa countries for achieving same feat.

“Congratulations to Nigeria, Cameroon, Central African Republic and South Sudan whose documentation confirming their status as wild polio free has been accepted by the independent ARCC,’’ it said.

Similarly, Rotary International Polio Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr Emeka Offor, in a statement issued in Abuja, congratulated Nigeria for the uncommon milestone, saying “I join millions of Nigerians in celebrating this great achievement.

“For more than a century, Polio has continued to ravage the whole world. In 1988 alone, about 350,000 cases of polio were estimated in 125 countries.

“Today, History has been made in our Country, with this pronouncement,’’ he said.

Offor, also the Founder of Sir Emeka Offor Foundation (SEOF)   said, in 2013, he pledged to continue the work of Polio Eradication till Nigeria and the world is Polio-free.

“I am happy to see that this promise is beginning to materialise.

“At the Sir Emeka Offor Foundation, we have made concerted efforts in partnership with Rotary International to drive public awareness campaigns, immunisation outreaches, advocacy and successful fundraising within Nigeria and abroad, for polio eradication.

“My Foundation has equally committed financial interventions of over 10 million US dollars with matching grants from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, towards this great fight,’’ the official said.

Offor, however, requested as the Rotary International Polio Ambassador to Nigeria that the main job starts now, adding that while we rejoice, we must continue surveillance, advocacy, routine immunisation, field supervision and maintenance of personal hygiene.

“Notwithstanding the COVID-19 Pandemic, we must do our best to sustain the momentum and Keep Polio at Zero, as we await the regional certification of Africa in August, 2020,’’ he said  (NAN)