Polio cases in Nigeria drop by 95 percent since 2009

The number of polio cases in Nigeria has dropped by 95 percent since 2009.

Nigeria, along with Pakistan, Afghanistan and India, is part of a group of countries known as PAIN, where polio has never been interrupted, according to TheNationOnline.eng.

During the recent World Polio Day, Dr. Muhammad Ali Pate, the executive director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, thanked political and religious leaders as well as the relentless efforts of health workers for reducing the number of cases of polio in Nigeria from 388 to 21, TheNationOnline.eng reports.

Pate said that he believes Nigeria has the vaccine technology and the knowledge to contribute to the worldwide mission to eliminate polio.

"Now we need continued leadership to ensure our children are immunized. Polio eradication is a priority worthy of our investment,” Pate said, according to TheNationOnline.eng. "If Nigeria intensifies its efforts international health experts say our country can end polio transmissions by mid 2011.

"The final chapters of polio eradication in Nigeria will require even more effort than the first. But there are many reasons why this campaign deserves unwavering leadership and commitment. Stopping Polio means our families will never again lose another child to this crippling and disfiguring disease."