Nigeria to achieve polio-free status in 2020 – NPHCDA boss

The Executive Director, National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuaib, has expressed the optimism that Nigeria will be declared polio free by 2020.

Shuaib said this in an interview in Abuja Tuesday.

“The members of the African Regional Certification Commission (ARCC) of the World Health Organisation (WHO) are finally here to review Nigeria’s preparedness for polio-free certification by June 2020.

“It has planned two field verification visits. The first is to the Southern states from December 9 to December 20, and the second is to the Northern states from March 2, 2020 to March 13, 2020,’’ he said.

Shuaib said the hard work of front line polio workers at the federal level and the 36 states had come under scrutiny, adding that Nigeria was anxious to exit and be free from polio.

“We are committed to that. I can assure you that this issue of polio is top priority,” he said.

He stated that NPHCDA and the partners were grateful as ARCC started a two-week process of polio certification exercise in Nigeria.

He said ARCC team would be conducting field visits with regards to polio eradication activities in some health facilities in selected states in three zones in southern Nigeria during phase one and in three zones in northern Nigeria during the phase two.

The NPHCDA boss said the team would also be providing recommendations and feedback for further improvement of the complete national documentation.

He said to support the country in the preparatory process, ARCC team had promised it would ensure that the national complete documentation prepared by the country met ARCC required standards.

Shuaib said that in their planned activities for 2019-2020, ARCC had scheduled Nigeria to prepare and present the national complete documentation during the June 2020 meeting.

He, however, said  not only Nigeria was closed to being free from all types of wild polio, adding that Cameroon, Central African Republic and South Sudan remained to be certified.

Shuaib said the countries including Nigeria were expected to finalise their documentation by June 2020. (NAN)

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