According to chairman of Nigeria's polio committee, Dr Tunji Funsho, the World Health Organization would need strong surveillance data to be certain that there are no cases infected with wild polio virus for three consecutive years before they can declare Nigeria polio-free.
If the data confirms zero cases, the entire WHO AFRO region may receive wild polio-free certification as soon as mid-2020, leaving only one region out of six around the world (the Eastern Mediterranean region) where wild polio virus still exists.
The continent's last case of polio caused by the wild virus was detected on August 21st, 2016 in Nigeria.
She also pledged to support the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, the Federal Ministry of Health and the National Centre for Disease Control. Polio or poliomyelitis is a viral disease that may lead to weakness and paralysis or deformity of the limbs - usually legs, and leave a child crippled for life. 8 billion released by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2016, in addition to huge resources provided by other local and worldwide donor agencies, had helped to carry out vaccination of children through firewall, global border vaccination, local transit vaccination, nomadic, hospital, market and vaccination at camps for Internally Displaced Persons (IDP).
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In 2018, there was a total of 33 polio cases confined to just two countries: Afghanistan and Pakistan. "We have to maintain our efforts and intensify them to make sure the historic days are sustained and polio-free certification is obtained for Nigeria in due time, next year", she added.
Dr. Pascal Mkanda, head of the polio eradication effort in WHO's regional office for Africa said in a statement, "To detect a case of wild polio, we need to go to communities to see children who have symptoms and take samples but there are certain areas that there is insecurity and this poses a challenge of accessibility".
Faisal Shuaib told reporters in Abuja that the final certification is subject to the Africa Regional Certification Commission (ARCC) which will require "a detailed assemblage and review of surveillance, routine immunization, and supplemental immunization activities data by the National Certification Committee before submission of the final documentation to ARCC in March 2020". Three decades after, there has been at least a 99 percent reduction in cases.