Tag Archives: Polio virus

United States’ Mary Beth celebrate Nigeria on Polio free status

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United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard has congratulated the government and people of Nigeria for attaining a wild poliovirus-free status.

The US envoy noted that the feat was achieved after years of joint efforts to remove Nigeria from the list of wild polio-endemic countries.

“We are proud of our partnership with Nigeria and cherish the cooperation that ensures the country has the technical expertise and resources required for success,” the ambassador was quoted as saying in a statement issued on Friday. “No country could have achieved this great feat without the support of its partners.”

Mary Beth Leonard

While reiterating the commitment of the US to continue its partnership with the Federal Government, Leonard called on the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to build on its successes in fighting polio, including strengthening routine immunization, and improving the health of children and their families.

She however warned that a resurgence of polio can still occur despite the certification by the World Health Organisation.

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The diplomat said she is confident that Nigeria has the strategies in place to ensure the gains made in the polio eradication efforts are not lost and that the momentum achieved in achieving this certification continues.

SEE FULL STATEMENT HERE

PRESS RELEASE August 28, 2020

For Immediate Release PR-0XX/2020

U.S. Congratulates Nigeria on Wild Polio-free Status,

Calls for Vigilance and Improved Routine Immunization

Abuja – U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria Mary Beth Leonard congratulated the government and people of Nigeria for attaining a wild poliovirus-free status after years of joint efforts to qualify Nigeria to be removed from the list of wild polio endemic countries.

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“We are proud of our partnership with Nigeria and cherish the cooperation that ensures the country has the technical expertise and resources required for success,” the Ambassador said at an August 24 Town Hall meeting with Embassy staff and polio eradication stakeholders. “No country could have achieved this great feat without the support of its partners.”

She added that the United States stands ready to continue its partnership with Nigeria as it consolidates and builds upon its successes in fighting polio, including strengthening routine immunization, and improving the health of children and their families.

The certification comes after four years without any reported cases of polio in Nigeria and following an in-depth review and acceptance of the country’s certification documentation.

Ambassador Leonard said she is confident that Nigeria has strategies in place to ensure the gains made in the polio eradication efforts are not lost and that the momentum achieved in achieving this certification continues. Despite the certification, a resurgence of polio can still occur.

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It is therefore critical that the country’s disease surveillance system is sensitive enough to quickly detect and respond to diseases.

Ambassador Leonard recognized the role of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) at the forefront of partnering with the people of Nigeria toward polio eradication efforts in the country.

Since 2012, the CDC and USAID have invested approximately $150 million and $70 million, respectively, toward Nigeria’s polio eradication efforts. The agencies work in Nigeria at the state and local levels to strengthen surveillance, polio campaigns, polio outbreak response efforts, and routine immunization.

Implementing partners include: the African Field Epidemiology Network, Core Group Partners Program, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, UNICEF, and Word Health Organization.


#Newsworthy…

Buhari appreciate World leaders for support in fight against polio

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President Muhammadu Buhari has written to world leaders and partners to appreciate their support towards helping Nigeria in attaining a Wild Polio Virus (WPV) free status.

He also promised that his administration would sustain the momentum and strengthen the Primary Health Care system.

This was disclosed in a statement signed on Friday by the Senior Special Assistant to the President, Media & Publicity, Garba Shehu.

The President also commended Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Chairman Presidential Taskforce on Polio Eradication, and his team, for making Nigeria proud and saving the country from the scourge of poliomyelitis.

He asked the taskforce to sustain the coordination especially in mobilizing state governors to provide the needed oversight and resources to strengthen the Primary Health Care System.

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“This is to express our profound appreciation for your leadership of the Presidential Taskforce on Polio Eradication and Routine Immunization.

“The declaration of Nigeria as a Wild Polio free country is the result of your effective coordination of the Nigerian Polio eradication program through the Presidential Taskforce on Polio Eradication and Routine Immunization, Federal Ministry of Health and the National Primary Health Care Development Agency.

“Please extend my personal appreciation to all members of the Presidential Taskforce on Polio Eradication for making Nigeria proud and saving her children from the scourge of Poliomyelitis.

“I urge the Taskforce under your leadership to sustain this coordination especially in mobilizing State Governors to provide the needed oversight and resources to sustain the momentum and strengthen the primary health care system by improving routine immunization, maternal, newborn and child health services.

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“I urge you to sustain the momentum as I look forward to us leveraging on the polio infrastructure and experience to drive other health interventions,’’ the President wrote in the letter to Prof Osinbajo.

The President also wrote a separate letter to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, thanking the European country for decades of financial support to Polio Eradication Initiative (PEI) programme in Nigeria through KfW.

“Please be assured that my Government will remain committed and focused to ensuring the needed resources will be provided to sustain the momentum and strengthen the primary health care system of our great Country,” the President said in his letter to Chancellor Merkel.

President Buhari also thanked traditional and religious leaders, who through their leadership built community trust for the polio programme thereby increasing acceptance and ensuring all eligible children are reached with the polio vaccine.

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Specifically, he wrote Alhaji Muhammad Saad III, Sultan of Sokoto, the leadership of Jama’atul-Nasirl Islam (JNI) and the President, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).

The President also wrote separate letters of appreciation to Bill Gates, the European Union, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization, Dr. Robert R. Redfield, Director, U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Henrietta Fore, Executive Director, United Nations Children’s Fund, David Malpass, President, World Bank Group and John Barsa, Acting Administrator, United States Agency for International Development.

Others are, Global Affairs Canada, Professor Shinichi Kitaoka, President, Japan International Cooperation Agency, and the International President, Rotary International.

President Buhari also appreciated the support of Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Chairman Aliko Dangote Foundation, Sir (Dr) Emeka Offor and Governor Kayode Fayemi, in his capacity as the Chairman, Nigerian Governors Forum.


#Newsworthy…

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