The World Health Organization announced on Tuesday that Nigeria is not on track to eradicate the wild poliovirus before the end of 2012.
Bruce Alyward, the assistant director-general of the WHO’s Polio, Emergencies and Country Collaboration Division, made the announcement at the 24th session of the Expert Review Committee Meeting on Polio Eradication. Alyward said that the country has the tools and capacity required to reverse the trend that has seen an increasing number of cases, AllAfrica.com reports.
“Every country is expected to operate in the emergency mode, Congo, India and China have stopped polio in the last three months, Nigeria is the only country in the world that has polio type 1 and type 2 in the last three months,” Alyward said, according to AllAfrica.com. “It is also the only country in the world with increasing cases; it is the number that puts the country at risk not the quality of prevalence.”
Alyward recommendated eight steps for eradicating polio in the country, including implementing a new house-based micro planning and monitoring method, cross agency refresher training, identifying chronically missed children, establishing true emergency oversight and planning a program for insecure areas.
Tomori Oyewole, the chairman of the review committee, said that Nigerians must change their attitude to polio eradication to win the battle against the crippling disease.
“Unless we change our attitude in our own different capacity, nothing will change,” Oyewole said, according to AllAfrica.com.