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Polio free status: Foundation calls for more surveillance

By Dan-Maryam Zayamu

Following the declaration of Nigeria’s free Wild Polio Virus (WPV) status by the Africa’s Regional Certification Committee, the Founder, Sir Emeka Offor Foundation (SEOF), Sir Emeka Offor, has called for continuous surveillance.

In a statement in Abuja, he reiterated that “the main job starts now.”

Dr. Emeka Offor who is also the Rotary International Polio Ambassador to Nigeria, insisted that while Nigerians continue to rejoice for the cheering news, “we must continue surveillance, advocacy, routine immunisation, field supervision and maintenance of personal hygiene.

“Notwithstanding the COVID-19 pandemic, we must do our best to sustain the momentum and keep polio at zero, as we await the regional certification of Africa in August 2020.”

While congratulating Nigeria for the great achievement, he said that: “For more than a century, Polio has continued to ravage the whole world.

“In 1988 alone, about 350,000 cases of polio were estimated in 125 countries. Today, history has been made in our country, with this pronouncement.

“In 2013, I pledged to continue the work of Polio Eradication till Nigeria and the world is Polio-free. I am happy to see that this promise is beginning to materialise.

“At the Sir Emeka Offor Foundation, we have made concerted efforts in partnership with Rotary International to drive public awareness campaigns, immunisation outreaches, advocacy and successful fund-raising within Nigeria and abroad, for polio eradication.

“My Foundation has equally committed financial interventions of over 10 million USD with matching grants from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, towards this great fight.”

Sir Emeka Offor further commended President Muhammadu Buhari and the Nigerian government for their leadership roles in ensuring Nigeria becomes polio free.

He also applauded other partners including Rotary International and the Rotary Foundation, the Nigeria National PolioPlus Committee, the Federal Ministry of Health, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Andrew Young Foundation, the traditional institution especially His Eminence, the Sultan of Sokoto; the Nigerian Rotary Family, all health workers, volunteers and supporters of this commendable cause.

Written by ExpressDay

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