By Danmaryam Zayamu
The Africa Regional Certification Commission for the Eradication of Poliomyelitis (ARCC) of the World Health Organization (WHO) has visited the Federal Ministry of Health.
The visit is to intimate the Minister of State for Health, Dr. Olorunnimbe Mamora, of their mission to verify the document submitted to them by Nigeria on the eradication of Wild Polio Virus (WPV) in the country.
While receiving the ARCC team, Dr. Mamora restated the commitment of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government to ensure the total eradication of polio in Nigeria.
He, however, applauded the ARCC team for assistance rendered to Nigeria to facilitate her exit from the row of countries with the WPV.
“The present administration has accorded top priority to the task of polio eradication, and in the last three years, remarkable progress has been recorded in Nigeria in the reduction of the WPV with appropriate surveillance put in place to sustain it”.
The Minister reiterated that the Nigerian documentation to the ARCC on WPV eradication is near perfect and expressed confidence that at the end of the verification exercises, Nigeria will be declared polio-free.
He pledged the necessary support, co-operation and logistics required from the government to the team to ensuring a successful execution of the verification exercise.
Earlier, first reviewer of the team, Dr. Arlene King, said that the objectives of the visit to include, among others, conducting field visits with regards to polio eradication activities in some health facilities in selected states in the three zones in southern Nigeria during phase one and in the three zones in northern Nigeria during phase two alongside providing recommendations and feedback for further improvement of the complete national documentation.
She explained that to support the country in the preparatory process, the Commission and its secretariat will ensure that the complete documentation prepared by the country meets the required standards of the ARCC.
Speaking, the Executive Director, National Primary Health Care, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, explained that the ARCC team was in Nigeria to identify with Nigerian states at the community level, to understand how the polio eradication program is working and to ensure that no child is paralyzed from the WPV.
A statement by Eunice Akro, the Head, Press and Public Relations Unit, quoted the NPHCDA boss as saying that at the end of the verification exercise, the ARCC will be given the opportunity to preview and inform the Ministry of their findings and the advocacy on how well the program can be strengthened.