By Victoria Ojeme
Rotary International, and other stakeholders have pledged to sustain current efforts leading to WHO’s certification of Nigeria’s polio free status.
Rotary International Polio Ambassador to Nigeria, Sir Emeka Offor, made the pledge while responding to questions from journalists during the celebration of the World Polio Day in Abuja, Sunday.
He congratulated Nigeria for marking three years without recording any case of Wild Polio Virus (WPV) in any part of the country.
It would be recalled Nigeria clocked three years in August 21, 2019, without recording any case of Wild Polio Virus (WPV).
Dr. Offor who is also the Founder, Sir Emeka Offor Foundation (SEOF), said: “As we mark the day, we shall not forget that as a country, we are very close to being declared a Wild Polio Free country by the WHO.
“The remaining milestone requires a lot of hard work, team collaboration and cooperation by all stakeholders in order to actualize the dream.
“I wish to commend the Rotary International, WHO, Nigerian Government and its Ministries, Departments and Agencies for the commitment, zeal they have put in so far. Similarly, all health workers, volunteers, rotarians and supporters of this worthy course require special commendation.”
He, however, vowed that his Foundation “shall continue to engage in sustainable ventures and endeavours that will drive the progress of this fight against Polio in all its ramifications.”
As part of the activities to mark the world polio day, Sir Emeka Offor unveiled a Polio bill board his Foundation sponsored which was located by the Pedestrian Bridge Police sign post, Lugbe, Airport Road.
Speaking during the unveiling ceremony, former Assistant Governor, Rotary International, Evelyn Onyilo, noted that ending polio in Nigeria will save the country of the problem of having crippled children.
According to her: “This is because some of the dangers of polio is that it turns children to cripples and handicaps.
“We cannot afford to see our children suffer like that. We want healthy children and healthy nation. We want to depopulate the issue of physically challenged people in Nigeria.
“You cannot quantify that, it means we will have more productive people in the country, more healthy people and healthier country.
“Polio is a disease that affects mostly children from zero to 5 years. That is why immunization is done periodically to make sure that polio is eradicated.
“Here in Nigerian there has been no incident of polio virus since the past three years. It means we will soon be certified by the WHO as a country that is polio free.”