Buhari Thanks World Leaders For Support In Fight Against Polio


President Muhammadu Buhari has written to world leaders and partners to appreciate their support towards helping Nigeria in attaining a Wild Polio Virus (WPV) free status.

He also promised that his administration would sustain the momentum and strengthen the Primary Health Care system.

This was disclosed in a statement signed on Friday by the Senior Special Assistant to the President, Media & Publicity, Garba Shehu.

The President also commended Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Chairman Presidential Taskforce on Polio Eradication, and his team, for making Nigeria proud and saving the country from the scourge of poliomyelitis.

He asked the taskforce to sustain the coordination especially in mobilizing state governors to provide the needed oversight and resources to strengthen the Primary Health Care System.

“This is to express our profound appreciation for your leadership of the Presidential Taskforce on Polio Eradication and Routine Immunization.

“The declaration of Nigeria as a Wild Polio free country is the result of your effective coordination of the Nigerian Polio eradication program through the Presidential Taskforce on Polio Eradication and Routine Immunization, Federal Ministry of Health and the National Primary Health Care Development Agency.

“Please extend my personal appreciation to all members of the Presidential Taskforce on Polio Eradication for making Nigeria proud and saving her children from the scourge of Poliomyelitis.

“I urge the Taskforce under your leadership to sustain this coordination especially in mobilizing State Governors to provide the needed oversight and resources to sustain the momentum and strengthen the primary health care system by improving routine immunization, maternal, newborn and child health services.

“I urge you to sustain the momentum as I look forward to us leveraging on the polio infrastructure and experience to drive other health interventions,’’ the President wrote in the letter to Prof Osinbajo.

The President also wrote a separate letter to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, thanking the European country for decades of financial support to Polio Eradication Initiative (PEI) programme in Nigeria through KfW.

“Please be assured that my Government will remain committed and focused to ensuring the needed resources will be provided to sustain the momentum and strengthen the primary health care system of our great Country,” the President said in his letter to Chancellor Merkel.

President Buhari also thanked traditional and religious leaders, who through their leadership built community trust for the polio programme thereby increasing acceptance and ensuring all eligible children are reached with the polio vaccine.

Specifically, he wrote Alhaji Muhammad Saad III, Sultan of Sokoto, the leadership of Jama’atul-Nasirl Islam (JNI) and the President, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).

The President also wrote separate letters of appreciation to Bill Gates, the European Union, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization, Dr. Robert R. Redfield, Director, U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Henrietta Fore, Executive Director, United Nations Children’s Fund, David Malpass, President, World Bank Group and John Barsa, Acting Administrator, United States Agency for International Development.

Others are, Global Affairs Canada, Professor Shinichi Kitaoka, President, Japan International Cooperation Agency, and the International President, Rotary International.

President Buhari also appreciated the support of Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Chairman Aliko Dangote Foundation, Sir (Dr) Emeka Offor and Governor Kayode Fayemi, in his capacity as the Chairman, Nigerian Governors Forum.

Polio: Sokoto Govt. Vaccinates 1.8m Children In November

Polio vaccines in sokoto stateSokoto state says it has vaccinated 1.8 million children against polio in the November supplementary rounds conducted in the state.

The November supplementary rounds is being carried out in six northern states to curtail the spread of wild polio virus in the region.

Nigeria’s hope for a polio free certification by the World Health Organzation (WHO) suffered a major setback in August when four new cases of wild polio virus were discovered in Borno state.

The resurgence of the virus informed government’s decision to turn attention to the immunization of eligible children in the region.

Some selected states in northern Nigeria, have also witnessed massive deployment of staff and vaccines for polio immunization in the last three months.

The Director, Polio Emergency Centre, Sokoto. Aminu Shehu, said that the agency has also prioritized giving the vaccine to children who are in transit.

“We also have motor parks immunization for people that are coming into the state and people who are leaving their houses before the vaccinators reach their houses, so the motor park immunisation is one of the ways we reach out to those likely to be missed,” he said.

The Executive Secretary of the Sokoto State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Sani Labaran, explained the tactics adopted by the agency to ensure that migrant children are vaccinated.

“We have a border post team stationed there for every person coming in with eligible child. That child must be immunized before coming into the state and then, we intensify strong surveillance system.

“We ensure that everybody, every child in every community, we scrutinise and ensure that these children are brought for immunization,” he explained.

Meanwhile, health officials in the field say the intervention of the Sultan has helped the more residents to accept the vaccine for their children.

The Chief Nursing Officer, Women and Children Hospital in Sokoto State, Halima Baba-Sirajo, said: “In the past they use to say polio, there is family planning in it, it doesn’t allow them to have babies.

“But with the intervention of His Eminence, the Sultan of Sokoto and other team members creating awareness and enlightening them, telling them it is not true, they are accepting it now more than ever before.”

UNICEF Frees 876 Children Held For Possible Boko Haram Ties

UNICEF, Boko HaramThe United Nations says that it has negotiated the release of nearly 900 children detained by the Nigerian Army and other security forces after they reclaimed territories seized by Boko Haram militants.

According to UNICEF’s Regional Director for West and Central Africa region, Mr Manuel Fontaine, the 876 children had been held in the barracks in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital.

Mr Fontaine added that there is a possibility that more children are still being temporarily detained because they were taken from Boko Haram areas.

Although there has been no immediate reaction from the Army, the military have in the past insisted that they need to question civilians to establish whether they have any ties with the Boko Haram sect, which has been trying for seven years to set up an Islamic state.

UNICEF Urges Nigeria To Strengthen Primary Health Care System

UNICEF, Northeast Nigeria, World Polio DayThe United Nations Children’s Fund – UNICEF is urging Nigeria to strengthen its primary health care system in other to curb the spread of wild polio virus in the north east to other parts of the country.

The Chief of Health for UNICEF in Nigeria, Mr John Agbor made the appeal at a news conference in Abuja to mark the 2016 World Polio Day.

He explained that this has become important to enable Nigeria consolidate the little gains already made in its effort to put an end to the virus.

Nigeria’s polio-free certification suffered a major setback in August 2016, when four new cases of wild polio virus were reported in the north east.

The federal government immediately launched an emergency response team to curtail the spread of the virus.

The Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole said that the government has already spent over eight billion naira on immunization of children against the polio virus.

Asides efforts made in the past, he restated the government’s commitment to eradicating polio in Nigeria.

At a separate press conference, the Chairman of the Senate Committee On Primary Health Care, Senator Mao Ohuabunwa called on the executive to strengthen the routine immunization of children under age five.

Over 30 million children have been vaccinated in Nigeria against polio in the three rounds of emergency response to the recent outbreak.

Polio-Endemic Countries: Buhari Applauds Nigeria’s Removal From List

buhariPresident Muhammadu Buhari has commended the announcement by World Health Organisation (WHO) that Polio is no longer endemic in Nigeria.

A statement released by Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, confirmed that President Buhari is delighted by the announcement, which follows the absence of any case of the wild Polio virus in Nigeria since July 24, 2014.

Buhari also applauded the concerted efforts of government officials, health workers, volunteer groups, civil society, religious leaders, traditional rulers and international partners, which resulted in this historic achievement.

While he joins other Nigerians and the global community in celebrating this achievement, President Buhari urged for continued vigilance to ensure that Nigeria maintains this new status.

He directed all government Ministries, Departments and Agencies involved in the Polio eradication effort, to remain proactively engaged and on guard against the re-emergence of the virus in Nigeria.

He assured the WHO and the global community that the Federal Government would ensure that immunisation and surveillance activities continue across Nigeria, to keep the country Polio-free.

President Buhari Pledges Polio Eradication In Nigeria

PolioPresident Muhammadu Buhari says his administration will do all within its powers to ensure that no Nigerian child is ever infected with polio again.

The President made the statement on Saturday, in Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory.

Speaking at a brief event in the Presidential Villa to mark Nigeria’s successful completion of one year without any reported case of the wild polio virus, President Buhari pledged that the Federal Government would mobilize and deploy all necessary resources to efficiently complete the task of eradicating polio from the country.

“Today, 25th of July, 2015, Nigeria has successfully completed one year without any case reported of the wild polio virus.

“Achieving this feat has placed us firmly on the path to eradicating this paralyzing disease from our land.

“I seize this opportunity to call on governors, our traditional and religious leaders, the private sector and our mothers and fathers to redouble their efforts to ensure that every child and every new born baby is vaccinated with the polio vaccine and other lifesaving routine vaccines,” President Buhari said.

The President personally vaccinated one of his grandchildren against polio at the occasion to demonstrate his commitment to eradicating the virus from Nigeria as well as the safety and efficacy of the polio vaccine.

President Buhari thanked all Nigerians and foreign partners who have supported the country’s polio eradication programme in several ways.

He said that he looked forward to the formal declaration of Nigeria as a polio-free country in 2017.