TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2016

Polio eradication advances in Nigeria

Polio eradication advances in Nigeria. | Courtesy of wikipedia.org

Nigeria recently announced that it has been removed from the polio-endemic list, further advancing worldwide polio eradication.

In 2006, Nigeria had over 1,122 cases of polio. Today, there are zero cases of polio in the nation. In over a year, there have not been any children who have been paralyzed from the illness, marking a major milestone for Nigeria.

“Polio is a crippling disease and has caused far too many children to suffer irreversible and permanent disability,” Dr. Rui Gama Vaz, WHO representative in Nigeria, said. “Despite tremendous progress in Nigeria, we cannot become complacent and WHO and partners will continue to deploy extensive human and financial resources to ensure no child suffers the devastating effects of polio.”

Health professionals credit polio vaccines with the success of the illness’s eradication. Children who do not receive their oral polio vaccines (OPVs) are considered at risk for contracting polio.

To achieve this accomplishment, leaders from regional religions and the World Health Organization (WHO) collaborated to create a strong front against polio.

“Working with religious leaders and partners has effectively created community demand for OPV, this has been instrumental in the fight against the disease, especially in persistently poor performing high-risk communities of northern Nigeria,” Vaz said.

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