By Hassan Zaggi
Nigeria is now set to be removed from countries with Wild Polio Virus.
This is following the acceptance of the country’s documentation by the African Regional Commission for Certification of Polio Eradication (ARCC).
ARCC is an arm of the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The Chairman of the African ARCC, Prof. Rose Leke, disclosed this at a meeting with the Nigeria team led by the Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) and partners.
She noted that her organisation has, for the past few years, assessed the performance of the NPHCDA in polio eradication and that the results have been impressive.
The Chairman said the Commission has also assessed the documentation of the progress made so far as submitted by the NPHCDA and found that it tallies with the reality on ground, and therefore congratulated Nigeria on the feat.
A statement by the head, Public Relations Unit of the NPHCDA, Mohammad Ohitoto, quoted the ARCC Chairman as saying: “We went with you and saw the happenings in the fields all these years.
“The ARCC has listened to your documentation, presentation and exhaustive responses to all those questions that were put… and we really want to congratulate and tell you that the documentation was accepted.”
The ARCC therefore, applauded the NPHCDA for achieving the milestone after years of battling with the Wild Polio Virus.
On his part, the Executive Director of NPHCDA, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, who was visibly elated by the development, said it was an amazing moment in Nigeria’s history to have had the polio eradication documentation accepted by the ARCC.
He disclosed that the acceptance paved way for the country’s polio free status to be officially declared next month at a meeting of Ministers of Health in Africa.
He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his support and foresight, stressing that “the leadership provided by Mr. President is mainly responsible for the rare achievement.”
He also applauded traditional and religious leaders, partners, past presidents, ministers, executive directors of NPHCDA/NPI, leaders in the public health space, the media, polio victims, parents and others for being what he described as the the constant driving force and motivation behind the efforts of the frontline workers.