By Kemi Yesufu, Abuja
Executive-Director of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib has disclosed that Nigeria is close to attaining the polio-free status.
He said hopes are high among stakeholders the Nigeria will reach the much sought after status, as the country has not recorded a new case of Wild Polio Virus in the last three years.
Speaking at the media conference to mark the African Vaccination Week, Shuaib, however emphasized that though there was a lot to celebrate in terms of immunization coverage, there is still a lot of work to done in order to improve health outcomes on the continent.
“I have no doubt that with our very encouraging record of not having a single case of Wild Polio Virus in any part of the country in the past three years, we shall celebrate a polio free Nigeria of our dreams”, he said.
The African Vaccination Week 2019 has as its theme: “Protected Together Vaccines Work”
According to Shuaib, “The themes emphasizes the need for collective responsibility and inclusive participation of all mobilizing human, material, financial, technical and logistics resources needed for implementation of vaccination activities in order to promote the health of children in Africa”.
Representative of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Mr. Clement Peter commended the Nigerian government on its commitment to making vaccines available to prevent children dying from vaccine preventable diseases.
He called on the Federal Government to find proactive and sustainable means of providing packages for integrated health services, which includes immunization.
Peter opined that with recent functionality of the National Health Fund, the implantation of integrated health services can now be made a reality.
Also speaking at the media parley, GAVI Vaccine Champion for Africa, Dr. Awelle Elumelu commended the Federal Government for investing immunization services, adding that all stakeholders should prepare themselves for creating even wider access to quality healthcare.