As Nigeria begins its final phase of being declared polio free, stake holders in the fight against the scourge have been advised to remain focused and increase their surveillance and vigilance profile.
Founder, Sir Emeka Offor Foundation (SEOF), Sir Emeka Of for, gave the advice at a world press conference to mark Nigeria’s three consecutive years without Wild Polio Virus (WPV), in Abuja, yesterday.
Heapp lauded international partners including Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for what he described as “their generous interventions towards the eradication of polio in Nigeria.”
Sir Of for who is a Rotary International Polio Ambassador in Nigeria, however, expressed the commitment of his foundation to partner with relevant stakeholders to ensure that Nigeria is certified polio free in the next couple of months.
“At Sir Emeka Foundation, we have committed expertise, resources and time in support of this noble, worthy and humanitarian course. Our resolve is irrevocable, our determination strengthened as we look into the future to achieve the second mile stone which is the certification of Nigeria and Africa as Wild Polio Virus free.
“encourage all of us to stay focused while we rejoice. Our surveillance and vigilance profile must be raised now. Our activities of advocacy, routine immunization and field supervision must continue with alacrity as we approach the final line,” he said.
He commended the Rotary International, World Health Organisation (WHO), the Nigerian government and other stakeholders who have contributed immensely in the fight against the WPV and ensuring that Nigeria gets to this final stage.
“I salute the hard work, passion and commitment of all health workers, volunteers and supporters who were driving the wheel of immunization as we sojourned through the polio pathway,” he reiterated.
The world press conference was well attended by stakeholders in the health sector including both local and international partners.